Gareth Bale’s future is more in the air than ever, with neither Real Madrid nor Tottenham Hotspur having ambitions to use the Welsh superstar beyond this season.
The 31-year-old landed his dream return to north London in the summer transfer window on a one-season loan, and all parties were hopeful he would regain his former form and convince Spurs to extend their stay for the next campaign.
But his loan with Jose Mourinho’s side has been a disaster so far, so much so that Spurs are no longer interested in retaining the player for the 2021/22 season. And this news poses problems for Madrid, according to Marca.
Los Blancos were hoping to get rid of Bale’s dilemma by sending him to the Premier League, but they will face exactly the same issues next summer. Zinedine Zidane has no plans to use the Welsh international, and the winger is said to now occupy one of their valuable places outside the European Union, which every La Liga club is only allowed to enter than five.
Along with Bale, Madrid also have Vinícius Jr, Rodrygo, Eder Militao, Reinier Jesus Carvalho and Takefusa Kubo as non-European players, meaning Zidane will have to omit one of these stars from his registered squad next year.
Madrid are also aware that Bale will not end his contract prematurely, meaning they will be forced to pay his salary until the summer of 2022, when his contract finally expires. The former Southampton star is one of the club’s biggest earners, however, and they will need to free up payroll space before they seriously reinvest in other areas of the squad.
And given its years of advancement and declining quality, a club is unlikely to take the risk of such a heavy investment.
It was therefore imperative for Los Merengues that this loan to Spurs be a success, but unfortunately it turned out to be anything but a happy reunion. He is yet to complete 90 minutes of Premier League football this season, and separate calf and knee injuries have sidelined him for periods throughout the campaign.
Even when he’s in top form, he hasn’t managed to come off the bench on seven occasions, showing how much Mourinho thinks he can add to the team. This is something that both Spurs and Madrid agree on, and it leaves Bale’s future in a very precarious situation.