When someone leaves Real Madrid it’s normally because it’s never quite worked out for them or because they’re now at an age where they can’t compete at the top level anymore. Neither of these are entirely true for Gareth Bale.
The Welsh winger joined the club in 2013 and has lifted the Champions League four times, La Liga twice, one Copa Del Rey, three FIFA World Club Cups and two UEFA Super Cups. He has scored 105 goals in 251 games including three Champions League final goals, a Copa Del Rey winning goal and a goal in a Club World Cup Final.
Despite all that though, there have been talks about Bale leaving the Bernabeu for longer than he was ever settled at the club if reports are to be believed.
Constantly linked with a return to the Premier League with Manchester United, Bale has always previously denied wanting to leave the club and always made it clear he was happy to stay in the Spanish capital. That was until last summer, when managed Zinedine Zidane made it clear publicly that he didn’t consider his as part of the squad anymore.
Bale was set to go to China, with a deal worth a reported £1m per-week agreed with Madrid releasing him without a transfer fee. As Bale prepared to fly over to China to put pen to paper though, Real Madrid owner Florentino Perez pulled the plug on the deal following Marco Asensio’s injury – claiming he believed the club should be getting a fee. Nobody else came in for him and Bale ended up staying.
As Madrid went on to lift La Liga once again under Zidane, Bale featured in just 20 games across all competitions for the club scoring twice and assisting twice. Bale featured for just 100 minutes after the lockdown and now looks certain to leave in the summer with the club strapped for cash following the Covid-19 pandemic.
But where could he possibly go? His wages are crazy high and plenty of clubs that were previously interested have moved on now.
Manchester United’s prime target is Jadon Sancho and since Ole Gunnar Solskjær took over, the club have primarily targeted younger players with potential. Tottenham have previously been linked too but have openly spoken about their issues with money during this summer window, while options abroad are lower than ever.
His best and most likely shout, is the MLS. The more laid back lifestyle in America is something that will greatly suit him and his relaxed persona. The clubs have a general salary cap but are allowed marquee players and he would arguably be the most marquee of them all. He’d still need to take a pay cut but it’s much more likely now than previously considering his injury history and the fact his contract ends next summer.
During an April 2020 podcast appearance he expressed an interest in joining the MLS eventually and that time is surely now.
With everything going on in the world, especially in the USA right now, its unknown how possible a deal will be to do. But one thing that is certain is that his time at the Bernabeu is over and everyone is likely to be happy about it.