Top Clubs on Alert as Bale Seeks Assurances
Wales failed to qualify for the World Cup, which has given Real Madrid forward, Gareth Bale, plenty of time over the summer to consider his future. Bale made all the headlines at the end of the 2017/18 season, coming off the bench in the Champions League final to win the trophy for Real Madrid. The Welshman scored a spectacular overhead kick, rated as arguably the best goal ever seen in the final of the competition. Bale rounded off the win with a long range strike which slipped through the hands of Liverpool goalkeeper, Loris Karius.
Despite winning the Champions League four times with Real Madrid and making the difference in the final last season, Bale faces an uncertain future at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Lack of Playing Time
The 28-year-old did not feature as often as he liked last season and this has led to speculation about the player leaving the club. Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, has told SkySports News his player must be assured of game time if he is to remain at Real Madrid next season.
“He wants a better year than he had last year” said Barnett, “He wants to play more, and that’s paramount to him. I think he’s one of the top three or four players on earth. For somebody like him, he has to play. It’s not about money.”
Bale is reportedly about to enter talks with Real Madrid, who have now appointed their new manager. Julen Lopetegui is sure to want to keep a player of Bale’s ability at the club and will not want to lose him to a major rival in the Champions League.
However, Bale and his agent seem to have greater aspirations than winning team trophies and the former Tottenham Hotspur man has his eye on the greatest individual prize a player can win.
The Ballon d’Or
Speaking to SkySports News, Barnett said, “He (Bale) wants to win the Ballon d’Or and I think he can. I think he’s the best there has ever been in that sense (a British player abroad), unless someone can name me someone who’s been more successful.”
If Bale is to win the Ballon d’Or, he will need to be playing at one of the top clubs in Europe, regularly competing in the final stages of the Champions League. At present, there appears to be only one club which can guarantee that level of success and that is Real Madrid.
However, Bale’s presence will lift the quality of any team, including the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Manchester United. There have even been rumours linking Bale with a return to Tottenham Hotspur.
If winning the Ballon d’Or is the main priority for Bale, his current club is perhaps the best place for him to achieve that aim. Real Madrid will not sell to Barcelona and Manchester United are currently not performing on the same level. That leaves PSG and Bayern Munich as two potential teams who could afford Bale but would the Welshman be interested in moving to another country?
To win the Ballon d’Or, Bale may decide the best choice is to remain in the colours of Real Madrid.