• Dan Tracey


Gareth Bale

After a slew of lacklustre performances, it is fair to say that the fanfare surrounding Gareth Bale’s return to Tottenham has all but dissipated and with the North London outfit unlikely to extend his loan for a second season, the question is what happens next for the Welsh international.

With Bale being left in the Real Madrid wilderness last season, many felt that not only would the former Southampton starlet get the move he was angling for, but he would also be removed from Los Blancos’ rather hefty looking wage bill.

A wage bill, that usually sees the 31-year-old collect 34 million euro a year in the Spanish capital and although that would have been subsidised by Tottenham’s contribution this season, the Santiago Bernabeu outfit may have to take the full financial strain once again.

Ultimately, Bale is in the shop window this season and if he were to have a good campaign for his previous permanent employers, then there was every chance a tussle for his services could emerge this summer.

The likely decision would be one that sees that Bale stay in N17, although the more interest that could be generated after stunning oppositions on both domestic and continental fronts, the further it would assist Real Madrid.

Because with a list of suitors clamouring for the Champions League winner, it would mean the likelihood of a La Liga return for 21/22 would be as far removed as possible. Now though, this looks like being the exact outcome.

Which is not only bad news for the club, as they once again need to pay an eye-watering amount of money in the final year of his contract, but it could also be bad news for the player, and it is more due to politics off the field.

Politics, that come in the form of Brexit and although you may be wondering just how the Welsh forward gets caught up in all of this, it’s the fact that if we were to return to Real Madrid, he would no longer be an EU-registered player.

The current La Liga rules state that a maximum of three non-EU players are allowed in the 25-man squad and with Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo most likely filling two of those options with ease, there could be a difficult decision for whoever the man in charge is next season.

While it is this, that may end up being the saving grace and with Zinedine Zidane seemingly approaching the last months of his second managerial tenure at the club, perhaps a new face may be able to get one last turn out of the man in question.

Then again, there is little evidence to suggest that the Cardiff born player will spark into life anytime soon and the easy option might just be for him to be an expensive white elephant in the football wilderness.

When you consider that he was unwilling to take a pandemic pay cut of 10%, trying to get him out the door early for anything less than the full amount of his final year’s salary, is arguably wishful thinking and once again, we may see another example of player power winning out once more.

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