Is Gareth Bale ready to swap Madrid for Manchester?
Gareth Bale may have arguably scored the best Champions League final goal ever last weekend. But his Real Madrid future is in serious doubt.
The Coral News Team take a look at where his next move could be.
The 28-year-old came on against Liverpool with a little over thirty minutes to play, before executing an outrageous over-head kick to put his side 2-1 up.
And Bale notched a second when his thirty-yard effort was too hot for Liverpool keeper Loris Karius to handle.
However, in his post-match interview, the Welshman didn’t hold back when giving his thoughts on the season.
He explained: “I felt like I deserved to start but obviously the manager makes those decisions and what can you do.
“The best I could do was to come on and make an impact and that’s what I did.”
There were many who thought Bale would be part of Zinedine Zidane’s starting XI for the final in Kiev.
The forward had hit a rich run of form going into the back end of the season. Bale struck five goals in his last six games before the match.
But he would throw his Madrid future into doubt when asked about the prospect of a move away from the Bernabeu, saying
“Obviously I need to be playing week-in, week-out and that hasn’t been happening this season, for one reason or another.
“I had a five week injury at the start of the season and I’ve been fit ever since. I’ll have to sit down in the summer and discuss it with my agent and take it from there.”
This has put the rest of Europe on red-alert, most notably Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
There will be plenty of admirers for Bale in the game but his valuation of well over €120 million could be a sticking point.
One interesting caveat in this soon-to-be saga is Tottenham Hotspur’s position in all of this.
The North London club had a right-to-match another clubs’ offer inserted in Bale’s clause when he moved to Madrid in 2013.
However, with the construction of their new stadium and Chairman Daniel Levy keen to keep his powder dry a return to White Hart Lane seems doubtful.
Paris Saint-Germain is another possible destination for Bale.
However, after playing second fiddle to Cristiano Ronaldo for so long, he would simply be walking into the shadow of Neymar at the Parc Des Princes.
Furthermore, the Neymar-Cavani-Mbappe axis looks impenetrable going forward.
It could be argued he is a better option to come in rather than Angel Di Maria or Javier Pastore.
Nonetheless, if any move was to happen it would be to club where he is the centre-piece.
The talisman of the team. The only way this deal looks possible would be if Neymar ended up at Madrid as part of swap deal.
A return to the Premier League
The attractive option would be a return to England.
His final season at Spurs was now over five years ago and he will come back a player at the peak of his powers.
Manchester City’s imminent signing of Riyad Mahrez rules them out of the equation.
Chelsea will need to resolve their manager situation before making big-money transfers.
So this could clear the way for Manchester United to make the first move.
The signing of Alexis Sanchez in January was supposed to be the sugar-boost United needed to put pressure on City.
But the Chilean hasn’t hit the heights of his Arsenal days, adding to a lethargy that ate away at the team for much of the season.
If Anthony Martial does end up leaving Old Trafford this would free up over £3million from their wage budget.
The Frenchman’s departure could open up a serious possibility of a return to the Premier League for Bale.
The alternative is for the former Southampton man to continue his jaunt around Europe.
Bayern are reportedly open to selling Robert Lewandowski this summer and could be looking for a marquee-signing.
The German champions traditionally don’t shell out big money on established stars.
Their record signing is the £37 million paid for Corentin Tolisso last summer.
However, their interest is real and Bale has already publically declared his admiration for the side.
He could be a great transition between the ageing Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben and the young up and coming Kingsley Coman.
It will take a large sum of money to bail the Welshman out of Madrid but one that may be worth taking.