Is It China Or Bust For Gareth Bale?
By Dan Tracey
What we’d all give to be Zinedine Zidane, the former French international made playing the beautiful game an artform and it is fair to say, that he is making relatively light work of the transition to the technical area.
While such is the embarrassment of riches that the former Galactico has at his disposal, it is clear to the footballing world that Gareth Bale has now become persona non grata in the eyes of the 1998 FIFA World Cup winner.
With Bale not featuring at the end of the previous La Liga season, it was clear to se that the writing was on the wall for the Welsh international and especially as he wasn’t even given the chance to thank the fans during Real Madrid’s last home game.
That was a fixture that saw the former Tottenham forward having to make do with being an unused substitute and with nothing in the way of a send-off, it was a rather inauspicious end to a Bernabeu stint that saw him help the club to no less than four Champions League titles in five years.
Due to the lacklustre end to the campaign, it was always going to be a case of not if Bale departs the Spanish capital but when and although there has been a modicum of interest from Europe’s biggest clubs, his age and his wage have seemingly worked against him.
At 30-years-old and while reportedly earning an eye-watering £600k a week, it does not represent a deal that offers anything in the way of value, especially with little ability to recoup expenditure from a future sale.
This has meant that the likes of Manchester United and Bayern Munich have subsequently cooled their interest and with that the hopes of a potential move to any major European suitor has now dissipated.
A situation that has had many asking what next for the player who is represented by agent Jonathan Barnett and it could be that the only exit door left open, is one that sees Bale depart for the Chinese Super League.
There is no question that a number of Chinese outfits will have the money to snare such a high profile player and they will have little concerns about earning any return on investment further down the line.
The only thing that may put a halt to this deal, is the fact that Barnett recently said that his client will not be going anywhere on loan and if a Madrid exit is to be facilitated, then it is one that will be in the way of a permanent deal.
Add into the mix, the fact that any move has been deemed right for not only the player in the question but his family also and with that in mind, you can perhaps understand why any completion of a deal has dragged its heels somewhat.
At the same time, money has a habit of always talking in football and if the figures that are being bandied about of £1m a week for Bale to switch Spain for Asia are to be believed, then who would blame the one time Southampton starlet of going for a Chinese takeaway.