It is approaching six years since Gareth Bale made what was then a world record £86 million move from Tottenham to Real Madrid. The Welshman’s spell in the Spanish capital has in many respects been a huge success. He has won the Champions League 4 times and played a pivotal role in two of Real’s four victorious finals with key goals including an absolute stunner in the Final in Kiev last summer.
He has also scored more than 100 goals for Los Blancos however Bale’s time has also been blighted by injury problems. The return of Zinedine Zidane is the latest setback and while Bale has always insisted he is happy in Madrid, this could be the final straw that results in the former Spurs man moving on this summer.
Why is Bale unpopular in Madrid?
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) February 16, 2019
Bale has been jeered and whistled on numerous occasions this season by the demanding Bernabeu crowd and has been one of the main targets for the frustrations of the supporters in a difficult season for the team.
There are a number of reasons why that has been the case. While Bale has certainly been unfortunate with injuries, there is at least a perception that he sometimes holds himself back and isn’t prepared to play through knocks like other players. Bale’s inability to speak Spanish after almost six years in Spain also makes it harder for him to defend his case. While the winger has insisted he has tried to learn the language, he perhaps could have done more and that’s another reason why he has struggled to build a connection with the fanbase and perhaps even his teammates.
Recent images of a team dinner which Bale didn’t attend added further fuel to the fire and even the likes of Marcelo and Thibaut Courtois have appeared to confirm rumours that he remains something of an outsider in a camp that many expected him to step up and lead following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Even at the time of his purchase, Bale was largely viewed as the man who would ultimately succeed Ronaldo as the focal point of the side. However Bale has had his worst season in a Madrid shirt in the first campaign after Ronaldo’s departure when the chance was there for him to really step up and become the focal point of this side. His poor current form combined with the other issues have seen the tide slowly turn against Bale and have fuelled rumours of a summer exit.
Bale could return from his latest injury setback this weekend. You can read all our predictions and betting tips in our Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo match preview here.
Zidane’s return could spell the end
Throwback to last summer when I took on one of the greatest tests on the @PGATOUR.
— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) March 11, 2019
Just when it appeared Gareth Bale’s season couldn’t get any worse, Zinedine Zidane was re-appointed earlier this week. The Welshman had fallen out of favour by the end of Zidane’s first spell in charge with talk of a total breakdown in communication between the two men. Bale was one of the very few Real Madrid players not to publicly thank the Frenchman when he surprisingly quit last summer and would not have been happy when the news broke on Monday evening of his return.
Another criticism of Bale in Madrid has been that he’s more interesting in golf than football and his nickname in the Real dressing room is ‘the golfer’. Bale has in fact admitted that he rarely watches football at home in previous interviews but it has become a real source of obsession in the Spanish media. Perhaps tellingly, Bale has tweeted four times this week, three of which were related to this weekend’s PGA golf and if he was intending to build bridges with Zidane, Real Madrid fans or the Spanish press, he’s not doing a very good job of showing it.
If like Gareth you’ll be watching more golf than football this weekend, you can check out our Players Championship Betting Tips and Predictions here.
Gareth Bale Club After Summer Transfer Window – Latest Odds
The return of Zinedine Zidane may well prove the final straw that forces Bale towards a summer exit. However there are very few clubs in world football who would be able to seriously offer him a package that comes close to the reported £600,000 per week that he currently earns at the Bernabeu. Therefore if Real are intent on selling him, finding a buyer who can offer Bale an attractive enough package to lure him away from the Spanish capital is no given.
Manchester United – 9/4
Manchester United are the favourites to secure Bale’s signature and there is plenty of solid reasoning behind that. Firstly, they are consistently ranked as one of the very richest clubs in the world so unlike even some of their Premier League rivals, they should have no trouble financing a deal for Bale.
Despite a huge upturn in form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, they are still a team that could use a bit of extra firepower and the possible departure of the under-performing Alexis Sanchez this summer only adds to the sense in going for Bale. Solskjaer has been hungry to bring back the culture that has delivered so much success in the Premier League era for Manchester United. They’ve had some cracking wingers over that period and Bale would surely fit the bill as the kind of marquee signing that could really help United kick on and compete for the Premier League title next season.
Tottenham – 6/1
Spurs are the second favourites to sign Gareth Bale this summer at 6/1 with Betvictor and they’d almost certainly welcome him back despite a somewhat acrimonious departure six years ago. However Tottenham haven’t missed Bale quite as much as they might have anticipated in the summer of 2013 and a club that has been so careful spending money over the past few years as their new stadium has been built, would surely struggle to match Bale’s wage demands. Spurs may well view reinforcing their squad as a greater priority this summer than spending big on one player.
Real Madrid are keen on Christian Eriksen and may offer Bale in some kind of exchange deal but if they do resign themselves to losing Eriksen, Spurs may still prefer to hold out for a cash deal. Signing an injury-prone Bale on big money at this stage in his career, doesn’t really fit with the club’s transfer policy under Daniel Levy.
Any Chinese Club – 12/1
If he can get fit and rediscover his best form, Gareth Bale is still one of the very best players in European football. At 29, it’s hard to see him moving to China at this stage in his career and he is quite capable of going to another big European club and adding more major silverware to his collection over the next few years. Therefore while there are Chinese clubs who would be able to afford him, a European move still looks far more likely.
Juventus, Liverpool, PSG, Bayern Munich – 16/1
A Premier League return looks the most likely outcome this summer for Gareth Bale but Juventus, PSG and Bayern Munich can all be backed to be his next destination at 16/1 with Betvictor. Juve have of course already agreed a deal to sign Bale’s fellow Welshman Aaron Ramsey but with Cristiano Ronaldo still playing like he is, it’s hard to see quite how Bale would fit into that jigsaw and the same goes for Liverpool whose high energy, pressing style doesn’t appear to be a natural fit for Bale.
Bayern may well need fresh blood this summer with an ageing forward-line but they may decide to go for younger options as they look to rebuild a team capable of challenging for more European honours. Bale may also be reluctant to go to the Bundesliga or Ligue 1 and assuming he has at least one Premier League offer, a move closer to home is likely to appeal more.