Will Gareth Bale still be a Real Madrid player come summer’s end? That is the question so many around the footballing world have been asking as this saga rolls on. Both Bale and Madrid have made their opinions on the matter clear for months now and with neither willing to budge, they must continue to coexist in a state of limbo that feels untenable heading into a new season.
This week saw the war of words between Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane and Gareth Bale’s representatives continue. Zidane reiterated his opinion that Bale simply does not fit in his vision for Real Madrid’s future and thus, he would like him gone.
“We hope he leaves soon. It would be best for everyone. I have nothing personal against him, but there comes a time where things are done because they must be done. We have to change.”
Neither Bale or his representatives took kindly to those comments with Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, hitting back at Zidane and taking the opportunity to explain Bale’s stance once more.
“Zidane is a disgrace to speak like that about someone who has done so much for Real. If and when Gareth goes, it will be because it is in the best interest of Gareth and nothing to do with Zidane pushing.”
Now normally if a manager tells the world that he hopes one of his players leaves, that player gets the hint and quickly works out a move elsewhere in search of regular playing time. Bale however, is more than willing to ride the bench for the remaining 3 years on his Madrid contract and collect a reported total of €45 million net that he is owed over that period.
As Barnett stated, Bale will only leave Madrid if “it is in the best interest of Gareth” and with Bale quite keen on collecting as much money as possible during his playing career, a move would only be in his ‘best interest’ if his current wages were matched. And while there are clubs in China who have offered Bale more than money than he makes at Madrid, a move to the Far East is seen as too much of a step down. And while there are several top European clubs like PSG, Bayern Munich, and Tottenham, Bale’s old club, who would love to sign the Welshman, none of them can afford to pay Bale what he is demanding.
With no solution in sight, this saga is sure to rumble on for the rest of the summer. Either Bale or Madrid, one of them has to budge sooner or later and only time will tell which one will end up on top.