With Real Madrid and Bayern Munich’s attempts at rebuilding set to begin and Chelsea potentially being slapped with a transfer ban, we may be set for one of the craziest summer transfer windows in recent memory this year.
One player who might very well be on the move is Gareth Bale. The one-time world’s most expensive player will be 30 this summer. Come the end of this season, he will have spent six years in Spain – which is more than most British players who opt to move abroad can say for themselves.
Gareth Bale is a Viable Option For Premier League Clubs
No matter what the Welshman does in his career from here on in, he will no doubt be regarded as one of the most successful British players to leave the island and try their luck abroad. Not many British players can say that they scored twice in a European Cup final as Bale did in 2018.
In the modern age of social media and short memories, the significance of Bale’s career and achievements is often forgotten. Injuries have often hindered his time at Real Madrid but it is a testament to his ability that his scoring record is double at Madrid than it was at Tottenham Hotspur. 102 goals in 224 appearances for Real while he managed only 56 in 203 for Spurs – though, admittedly, he started his career as a left-back in north London.
Premier League Return?
With that being said, it may be time for a new chapter to be written in the glittering career of the Southampton academy graduate. Though he would still command a huge transfer fee and wages, there is no doubt the top-six clubs could still benefit from his undoubted talents.
Here is a look at how feasible signing Gareth Bale could be for the current top-six.
Pep Guardiola has established a squad which plays a particular brand of football, the way he wants them to play. It would be intriguing to see Gareth Bale trying to integrate into the Pep way, especially after having spent so many years at Real Madrid. It would also not be a bad idea to see the likes of Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden learn a thing or two from one of British football’s biggest superstars.
A Premier League title still eludes Bale and although Manchester City could definitely afford the finances of this deal, it is hard to see Pep Guardiola upsetting an entire system to accommodate a superstar.
Liverpool have come leaps and bounds in the last few years, both on the field and off it. The club smashed their transfer record to take a well-calculated gamble on defender Virgil van Dijk in January 2018. The move paid off and then some with the defender now being regarded by many as the best player in the league at the moment.
While it is not impossible for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp to consider adding Bale, signing superstars has never been the German coach’s way. Klopp has always been more of a creator of ‘teams’ rather than relying on one superstar to carry the burden. In addition, it is hard to see Liverpool smashing their own wage structure with club-record signing van Dijk only earning a paltry £125,000 per week compared to some of the bigger, more established Premier League and world stars.
If Chelsea can somehow manage to avoid their transfer ban, which these richer clubs always seem to do, they are the likeliest of clubs to be willing to make a splash this summer with a signing like that of Gareth Bale.
The Blues may be about to lose Eden Hazard to the Galacticos resurgence over in Madrid which might cause them to overcompensate. From signing Kepa Arizabalaga for over £70 million on deadline day last summer, there are still doubts over who the manager might be at the club come the start of next season.
Chelsea are definitely one of the more likely destinations for Gareth Bale if the Welshman is indeed for sale. Especially given the uncertainty surrounding their current main-man, Eden Hazard.
It is hard to imagine Gareth Bale in an Arsenal shirt, given his Tottenham past. However, stranger things have happened. With uncertainty surrounding the future of Mesut Ozil and Bale’s compatriot Aaron Ramsey on his way to Juventus, Arsenal need to find major replacements in their push for top-four again next season. Gareth Bale may be a player that helps them go above and beyond that.
Arsenal are another club for which the finances of the deal might be a major issue. Though a physically fit Bale would suit the Gunners’ fast and slick passing style of play, it is difficult to see the usually stringent club hierarchy forking out over £60-70 million on an ex-Spurs man with injury problems.
Whether it’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer or Mauricio Pochettino in the United hot seat next season, they will have a job on their hands. Manchester United need a squad restructuring if they wish to challenge for the title next season. There is a lot of deadwood in the current squad and lots who are earning more than their performances justify.
Signing Gareth Bale would not only be another big risk, especially with the Alexis Sanchez fiasco still fresh in mind. It would be too similar to the Alexis transfer with United paying huge wages to a player not suited to their system.
Nevertheless, the potential influence of Gareth Bale on the youngsters of any of these clubs should not be underestimated. There is a lot the likes of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial can surely learn from a Gareth Bale.
With Spurs moving into their new stadium soon, the time might be right to make a big splash in the transfer window. After spending zilch the last two windows, bringing back club icon Gareth Bale may be the boost the north London club needs.
Tottenham might be another casualty in the Real Madrid saga that will no doubt take place this summer. Los Blancos are rumoured to be targeting Christian Eriksen and Heung-min Son, as well as Harry Kane. Daniel Levy, as always, is set to drive a hard bargain. No doubt the club will look to keep hold of its entire current crop of players if it intends to bring back and reintegrate Gareth Bale into the current setup.
The finances might be an issue for Spurs. However, having not spent a penny for 12 months, and with their new stadium ready to go, the club risks getting lost in the shuffle if they don’t try to keep up. Bringing back Gareth Bale might just be the statement and the sense of optimism around the club that their fans need.
Gareth Bale may have conquered the continent but he is yet to win the Premier League. For him, 30 might be the perfect age to return. Before injuries begin to take their toll, it might be time to give it one last shot.
The significance of Bale’s career should not be disregarded. There are not many players in the world, let alone British players, who can say that they’ve won the European Cup four times in their career.