It’s football’s latest conundrum. Team ‘A’ signs a player that they want so much they pay them a ridiculous amount to get them on board, they then safeguard themselves by slapping an even more ridiculous buyout clause on top and ‘hope’ that the player fulfils his potential at the club whilst seeing out his contract (until at least Team B makes an even more ridiculous bid so that Team A can profit on) and playing the highest level of football and selling as many t-shirts across the globe during that time as possible.
What happens next is when that player isn’t playing, a dip of form perhaps? An injury or a Manager just not fancying him, then that player becomes a burden to Team A… A player not playing, getting paid ridiculous amounts, with a ridiculous buyout clause that nobody else can afford to take a gamble on… Enter Gareth Bale.
In the Welsh Wizards defence since joining Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur for €100m in 2013 his statistics have been incredible. No other British player has scored more goals in a top European League, no other British player has won as many major trophies. 102 goals in 231 games, 4 Champions League titles, 2 World Club Cups a La Liga and Copa del Rey between a Super Cup here and there… Bale has been an iconic part of Real Madrid’s recent history and a major player in the way some of those trophies have been won… But for whatever reason… His manager does not like him… His team-mates do not like him…. The fans now do not like him… And Gareth Bale is left with no alternative but needing to go.
Now in the defence of Real Madrid and their Manager Zinedine Zidane I feel that the reason for ZZ’s departure following the 2018 Champions League success was down to the fact that the Frenchman didn’t want to rely on Bale to take the club forward following the imminent departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. As tensions rose following Bale’s remarkable two goal winning performance as substitute in the final Zidane was left with no option to leave.. After all it was ‘him’ or ‘me’ if he couldn’t get his way with the board…
6 months on Zidane was proved right. With Bale crocked & Real Madrid struggling he was asked back to rescue them… He said yes.. But I wonder if this time it just might have been on ‘his’ terms.
Zidane scarcely featured Bale in the run up to the close season in La Liga and Zidane has no intentions of that changing… Gareth Bale is on a healthy contract with some years remaining so he has every right to stay, the biggest issue facing Bale and Real Madrid is that (almost) nobody has the funds to take him thanks to the ridiculous wages he’s on.
A rumoured £600,000 a week is needed to pay Bale’s way… Nobody in England can afford this with FFP enforcing tighter budgeting for clubs to spend within their means. A part/payment loan deal maybe the only option, although one alternative doing the rounds is China.
Bale is likely to increase his wages by moving to either Jiangsu Suning or Beijing Guoan but that would all but end his career at the highest level of European Football after recently turning 30 this month.
Only Pogba leaving Manchester United for the Bernabeu or perhaps Neymar doing likewise from Paris Saint-Germain could realistically pave way for either club to pay Bale’s wage… Otherwise a loan deal to Spurs, Liverpool, Bayern Munich? Nobody else in the world can afford a ‘high end/luxury’ player that has played less than 80 league games in the last 4 years.
For Gareth Bale he must now decide on his future without having too many obvious choices to pick from… A remarkable outcome for a player regarded as one of the worlds best with a goalscoring record as good as any not called Messi or Ronaldo.
Priced out of playing football at the highest, best and most competitive level in Europe, he may now decide to sit and run down his contract at Real Madrid in the hope that his stint continues their longer than that of Zidane? Or less likely he cuts his financial losses to play for someone that is prepared to take a risk on him? Otherwise it’s China, to take the best money on offer and start a new chapter in his life away from all the scrutiny? It might be the best option for Bale, certainly financially, but should he go or not this next move will sadly define to many just what type of man Gareth Bale is.