It is fair to say that Gareth Bale has not had a good summer and the saga of his future took another turn after a proposed move to Chinese club, Jiangsu Suning, fell through.
It appears that although Real Madrid were happy to see Bale go, they decided they wanted a transfer fee for him, so pulled the move when the Welsh international was on the brink of signing a contract that would have made him the highest paid player in the world – earning a staggering £1 million per week.
So, where does that leave Bale now? China seems unlikely as the transfer cut off is just days away, so can he find another club that is willing to rescue him from what is fast becoming a Spanish nightmare?
There is no doubting his talent and a host of clubs across Europe would love to snap him up, but his high wages are proving the stumbling block. With Real Madrid putting the kibosh on his China deal due to a lack of a transfer fee, the odds on any club willing to foot both his wages and a large fee seems unlikely.
Unless Bale and his agent, Jonathan Barnett, lower their financial demands, the player looks set to stay in Spain. His poor relationship with Real manager, Zinedine Zidane, is no secret and the latest soundbite from his agent is that, ‘there’s no relationship between them, there never was one.’
The relationship between Bale and Zidane has been strained ever since the Frenchman returned to the Bernabeu – especially as the two didn’t see eye-to-eye in Zidane’s first spell with the club. One French publication printed that Zidane doesn’t like Bale’s attitude or his tendency to play golf after training,
It is also rumoured that Zidane ended his first spell in charge days after a third Champions League triumph because the club decided to allow Cristiano Ronaldo to leave, rather than Bale.
With Zidane back at the club, he could not have been less subtle when revealing that it would be ‘better for everybody’ if Bale left Los Blancos.
However, Florentino Perez, the current president of Real Madrid intervened to stop Bale’s move to China, which went completely against the manager’s wishes. Perez’s intervention is reportedly down to wanting a larger fee for the player, believing he is too valuable to let go on the cheap, but it’s hardly a good look for Zidane that he can’t sell a player that he has publicly criticised and tried to offload through the media.
But Perez has been a longstanding fan of Bale and still appears to value the Welshman. Will this cause frictions again between manager and president?
Paul Pogba had been a target for Zidane, but if Bale stays, it’s hard to see Madrid getting him under FFP rules, which have gone to the forefront of clubs’ thoughts. The best option for all parties does seem to be a quick, if bitter divorce, but will any English club decide he is worth the huge sums of money it would take to bring him back to the Premier League.
For now, he does seem stuck, but this saga will rumble on…