What a sorry state of affairs this has turned out to be. One of the best players on the planet when fully fit, Gareth Bale has been treated with complete disdain by both his own manager and supporters. With more twists and turns than an episode of Love Island, here we’re taking a look at the latest odds on Bale to leave Real Madrid.
The Welsh forward had looked certain to be on his way out of the Bernabeu. Zinedine Zidane couldn’t have made it any clearer that Bale had no future in the Spanish capital. The French boss told Madrid president Florentino Perez he wanted him out, then informed the media following his team’s 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup that it would be ‘all the better’ if Bale left as quickly as possible.
‘Let’s hope, for everyone’s sake, that it happens soon,’ he continued. The club is dealing with the club that he’ll move to.’
That club, it transpired, was Jiangsu Suning. Bale agreed a mind-blowing contract with the Chinese Super League side that was worth in the region of £1m per week. Hardly short of a few euros already, becoming the world’s highest player by some distance was nevertheless something of a sweetener as the former Tottenham player steadied himself to take a step back from top-level competition.
However, Perez and the Madrid board vetoed the move for a number of pretty sound reasons. Firstly, they want a sizeable fee for a player they paid a then-world record fee of £86m for. Secondly, Marco Asensio is set to miss the entire season after picking up a serious knee injury in pre-season. Thirdly, Real have looked awful in their build-up to the new campaign.
Perhaps most tellingly though, is the lack of faith there appears to be in Zidane. Perez is no stranger to sacking managers as soon as the going gets tough, and the start of this season could get rough very quickly indeed. Especially after a poll of Madridistas revealed there’s a distinct lack of confidence in Zidane, despite the huge outlay on stars such as Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic this summer.
All this has left Bale thinking that there’s a good chance he can bide his time and outlast his manager in Madrid. With that in mind, the odds on Bale staying at the Bernabeu have shortened dramatically to 1/3. He may be frozen out for now, but he could be settling in for a few rounds of golf over the next few months, as he showed while out on the course at the same time as his team were losing against Spurs in the Audi Cup in Munich.
The four-times Champions League winner is still 9/2 to complete a move to any Chinese Super League club, despite the initial move collapsing for now. Tottenham come next at 8/1, although Bale’s former club seem to have little appetite for resigning the Welshman. The same could be said for Manchester United, who are out at 16/1 as they pursue a transfer policy that’s turned its back on an injury-prone player who celebrated his 30th birthday in mid-July.
Paris Saint-Germain could be interesting as a long shot at 16/1, with the Ligue 1 outfit potentially looking for a Neymar replacement – especially if Los Blancos go all-out to bring the Brazilian to Madrid. Having said that, he’s currently odds-on to stay put for a good reason.