No final decision will be taken on Gareth Bale’s future until Real Madrid hire a new coach, but the surprise resignation of Zinedine Zidane as head coach has improved the likelihood of the Welsh forward staying in the Spanish capital.
Bale wasted no time in declaring his need for first-team football on live television just moments after Madrid had sealed their third consecutive Champions League title in Kiev last month, confirming what had been known for months by those in the player’s inner circle that he intended to leave La Liga.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s latest grumblings of discontent are being taken with the pinch of salt they merit at this stage, but should he depart then it makes it far easier for Real Madrid to accommodate Bale in the expanded role he craves next season.
And rather than Bale or Ronaldo, it is Zidane’s departure that has thrown the club’s summer plans into chaos, with much of their transfer business on hold as an angry Florentino Perez desperately searches for a replacement coach.
Tottenham’s insistence that they would not negotiate over Mauricio Pochettino’s departure means that Perez is currently considering a number of second-tier candidates.
Bale, who knows this may be his final big contract, is ready to wait and find out the plans of Zidane’s successor before making decisions over his future, The Independent understands, though his preference over the past few months had been for a move to Manchester United.
Sources say the winger himself has a very short list of clubs he is willing to move to.
Tottenham would be one, but the economics of a deal would be incredibly difficult with the club boasting such a rigid wage structure. Chelsea’s own summer of flux is a situation to watch, but if United don’t come up with a solid offer for the Wales superstar then the chance of Bale staying in Madrid - something unthinkable just weeks ago - is now very real.
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