Gareth Bale is possibly the greatest British player of his generation, and certainly one of the best Welshmen of all time. The superstar has been slowed down by injuries in recent years but still possesses talent by the bucketload. Just look at that bicycle kick, for goodness sake.
The Champions League final was the story of Bale’s Madrid career. He stepped up when called upon but wasn’t appreciated enough to start. Despite the euphoria that must have hit him and his teammates at full time, his comments were spoken from the heart:
“I need to play,” he said, “who knows what the future holds. I’ll sit down with my agent in the summer.”
If this was a plea for more money and a new contract, he wouldn’t be the first player to do so, but I can’t help but feel Bale’s answer inferred a move away from the Bernabéu.
Zidane’s sudden departure may repress some of Bale’s urges to hand in a transfer request, but no matter who is in the Real Madrid hot seat next, the Welshman will likely still be fighting for his place when he deserves a team to be built around him.
So, what are Gareth Bale’s options?
Jose Mourinho has thrown money at his problems in both of his summers in Manchester. Not only have his team been criticised for being too slow in transition but Jose has isolated Anthony Martial and publicly criticised Marcus Rashford. The departure of either of those two wide men would leave a Bale-sized whole in the squad.
Manchester United certainly have the resources available to fund the move which would likely be a transfer on the same scale as Paul Pogba’s move in 2016.
The Welshman’s return to the Premier League would be welcomed by many, and would go some way to making United a more competitive side in the title race.
Munich are reportedly interested in taking advantage of the star’s frustration. The German champions have utilised Robben and Ribery in an exciting 4-3-3 for the best part of a decade but, with time running out on their respective careers, it would open the door nicely for Bale.
The winger has already adapted in a new country and a new league with relative ease, so I’m positive he would relish the challenge.
Bayern Munich aren’t a club known for overspending in the transfer market, however, this opportunity could tie in nicely with the sale of Robert Lewandowski. The Polish forward has expressed an interest to leave with a reported price tag of £80m.
Swap deals rarely work out, but Real Madrid represents one of the many clubs interested in the striker. It would be a move that benefits all parties involved, but perhaps one too tricky to construct.
My favourite move of the three rumoured is a return to the club he made his name at: Tottenham.
As Spurs enter yet another season with Champions League football on their radar, they will be also looking to add further pressure to the clubs either side of them in the league.
The signing of Gareth Bale would be a statement of intent. He’s not just a fan favourite, not just a big name; he is perfect for the system Pochettino has created. Previous transfer windows have seen Tottenham sign Moussa Sissoko and Lucas; two quick, traditional wingers, that have (so far) failed to fulfil a meaningful role.
Like Bayern, Tottenham could fund the transfer with the sale of one of their current stars, such as Toby Alderwield, who looks set to join Manchester United in a reported £55m move.
I believe Bale needs to move on regardless of the coach Madrid eventually hire. A player with his ability, in his prime years, needs to be playing regularly and enjoying his role.
Should the white side of North London get their way, it could be a move that puts Tottenham firmly in the title race for next season, and one that allows the Welshman to flourish once
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