Madrid to move on from Bale?

Real Madrid are set to axe Gareth Bale and set about rebuilding a squad that has fallen well behind Barcelona in this season’s La Liga race. That could spark a bidding war and Premier League clubs would be clamouring for his signature as he lit up the league during his time at Tottenham. Man Utd are crying out for a player of his ability, but Spurs may rival them, and the likes of Man City and Chelsea would also have to seriously consider snapping him up.

Real broke the world transfer record to sign Bale and they have won the Champions League three times in four seasons during his time at the Bernebeu. He has delivered several match-winning performances and scored in the 2014 Champions League final.

The first half of his spell in Madrid was paved with goals and plaudits, but fans have turned on him of late as his form has been inconsistent and he has struggled with injury problems. Some have turned him into a scapegoat for Real Madrid’s failings this season: they are 10 points behind Barca in the title race and if you check out the best reviewed sites like you will see they are huge outsiders to defend their crown. Meanwhile, they lost 3-1 to Spurs in the Champions League and will now face a tougher last 16 draw after finishing second in their group.

The old adage goes that if you stand still, you go backwards, and Real Madrid must be ruing a summer of inactivity in the transfer market. They decided there was no need to tinker with a squad that had just won back-to-back Champions League titles and wrested La Liga from Barcelona’s control. But players often get a boost from seeing new faces and Real seem in danger of stagnating and even regressing. That has persuaded club chiefs to engage in a clear out and Bale is one of eight players – along with Lucas Vazquez, Dani Ceballos, Marcos Llorente, Kiko Casilla, Achraf Hakimi, Jesus Vallejo and Luka Modric – apparently set to be axed to make way for new Galacticos.

That would be harsh on Bale, who has scored 56 times in 96 starts for Real Madrid, but that is the brutal reality of playing at an elite club. Manager Zinedine Zidane is a known admirer of Bale, but the club’s hierarchy might be running out of patience with the injury-prone Welshman. He is now 28 and has not quite emerged as the heir apparent to Cristiano Ronaldo, so it may be time for them to cash in. But Bale is still a phenomenally talented attacking force and would surely improve any team in the world, so the Premier League’s big clubs would all be interested.

That would suit Real down to the ground as it would spark a bidding war and drive up his price, and Jose Mourinho would really be expected to fight tooth and nail for his signature. Man Utd are exceptionally strong and solid and concede few goals, but they lack a bit of spark and creativity, particularly when Paul Pogba is injured. Bale would transform the Red Devils into an attacking force, but whether he will want to play for a manager famed for his cautious tactics is another matter. The dream could well be to play for Pep Guardiola at City, but he is very particular about who is signs and is well stocked in attacking options, and will be even more so if he brings Alexis Sanchez to The Etihad. He could go for a happy homecoming at Spurs and his superstar talent could give them the necessary push to go from nearly men to champions, but Chelsea would be a dark horse as they have deep pockets, an illustrious recent history and a track record of landing big name players.

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