It has been a rough few years for Gareth Bale in Real Madrid. After they won the 13th Champions League in 2018 and Cristiano Ronaldo left, Gareth Bale was supposed to be the next guy up. Unfortunately, injuries and some issues outside of football kept the Welsh star from really taking Ronaldo’s place. In the last two years at Real Madrid, excluding the loan to Tottenham in 2020-21, Bale just managed four goals in 25 appearances. As his contract is up this summer, we look at the three best destinations for Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale.
Best Gareth Bale destinations after Real Madrid stint
The Red Devils have already been interested in Gareth Bale in the past. He was linked to Manchester United in 2015 when they reportedly offered £100 million for the Welsh international. He turned it down that year and it is clear that he made a good decision, as he won three more Champions Leagues in Madrid, while United mostly struggled under various managers. Yet, it is a completely different situation now. He is not the same player anymore, Manchester United can get him on a free transfer, and he is completely out of any rotation of Carlo Ancelotti. It is now possibly the move for both sides for Bale to finally make his transfer to Old Trafford.
Of course, he would not be the starter there. Bale has his moments of magic, but he is definitely not the starting-caliber player, not anymore. However, he can be the rotational piece and occasional starter who will bring a ton of experience to a squad that needs it. Although Ronaldo and Raphael Varane are there, there are still many young pieces in United that need guidance. He can also give the new manager of United, whoever that might be, options on the right side, options that were severely hit when Mason Greenwood was arrested on domestic violence charges in January. It might not be impactful as Bale was supposed to be in 2015, but he can be a great player to run at defenses late in games or even occasionally start when his form goes back up.
Newcastle is likely going to be linked with a ton of players, now that they were taken over by the Public Investment Fund of the Saudi Arabian government. They have deep pockets, fans expecting a massive spending spree and a huge club that needs to be back where they belong – in the upper part of the EPL’s standings. Of course, Gareth Bale is not going to be that guy that gets them there, but he is an available winger with Champions League-winning experience that still has some magic in his feet. With this being a free transfer, the new owners will still have a ton of money left over to get other players in the summer transfer window.
In terms of fit, it is very difficult to speak about that when we do not really know who is going to be there come next season’s start. We know that a few pieces, like Kieran Trippier, Joe Willock, and Bruno Guimares, to name a few, will be there, but the rest of the roster is largely unknown. Due to this, Bale could be an option for multiple reasons. Firstly, he is, as mentioned above, a free transfer. Secondly, he is great insurance. If Newcastle misses out on huge names, which tends to happen in the first summer window with new owners, they would still have Bale to show off to St James’ Park. Thirdly, he would be a great transitional player that could be a starter for the first season but then move on to a rotational role as players start to come in.
It just feels like Gareth Bale should be back in Tottenham Hotspur colors. While it is not the iconic White Hart Lane anymore, rather being the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, it is still a place and a club where Bale really got to the top of his game. It is true that his best was given to Real Madrid, especially in those early years at the Santiago Bernabeu, but Spurs feel like home for Bale. He famously went there on loan in the 2020-21 season, where he bagged 11 EPL goals in 20 appearances, scoring 16 goals in all competitions for Spurs that season. Of course, they did not keep him, as it then required a fee and Real Madrid did not want to sell for a huge loss, but this would now be a free transfer, and it might sound enticing for Spurs to bring him back.
It was visible in 2020-21 that Bale is still a huge fan favorite. Spurs fans simply love him, as he has given them some iconic moments. That is huge for a fanbase that really has not seen a ton of success in the past, so the famous Gareth Bale hat trick versus Inter Milan in 2010 remains fresh in memories of Spurs fans. Thus, it only feels natural to even wish for a Bale full return to Tottenham. He has even spoken about early retirement, but for the sake of the sport, rather than retiring, Gareth Bale should give us at least one more iconic season in a place where he maybe did not have all the success of the world, but he had some great moments.