One of the long-standing sagas of the summer transfer window has been Real Madrid’s courtship of 18-year-old sensation Kylian Mbappe. The Monaco striker reportedly wants to join up with idol Zinedine Zidane at the Santiago Bernabeu, but as of the present there’s no room in the squad.
If Mbappe joins, it means one must go. We’ve already witnessed the destruction of MSN this summer, as Neymar left Barcelona for PSG, and BBC is next in line for the axe.
Out of Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, it’s the Welshman that’s most vulnerable given his horrific injury record. Zidane believes the squad would be least affected by Bale’s departure, especially since Isco’s dramatic rise last season, and Los Blancos are already planning for this possibility.
Here, RealSport take a look at the clubs Bale could potentially join next.
1 Manchester United
The Red Devils have apparently been desperate to sign the Welsh superstar for a number of years; David Moyes tried to get him from Tottenham Hotspur, but he instead chose Madrid.
If Bale becomes available however, United will certainly do all they can to acquire his services. They're one of few clubs that could realistically afford him.
It's no secret that Jose Mourinho has been looking for a wide forward with his pursuit of Inter's Ivan Perisic and Bale would jump to the top of his wish list if he became available.
The left footer could be the final 'wow factor' superstar United need to regain the Premier League title and become a European force once again. He offers creativity, unpredictability and sheer force and power in the final third, attributes Mourinho is searching for.
2 Bayern Munich
Munich have had a fairly torrid summer thus far. They may have signed talents in Corentin Tolisso and James Rodriguez, but they've looked extremely poor in their friendlies, failing to find the net in four of their last five games.
It has prompted Carlo Ancelotti to express his concern.
Signing a superstar like Gareth Bale may be the spark his side needs. They have an ageing Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben in the wide areas and although they have some talented youngsters to rotate with, Bayern may see Bale as an option they can't turn down.
With Bale's fitness worries, he also wouldn't be forced to play every single week so could be an ideal signing for the German giants. His pace and power, furthermore, stand him in good stead to adapt to the rigours of the Bundesliga. He also has Champions League-winning experience, a highly coveted title Bayern are desperate to win.
3 AC Milan
The Italian side mean business this summer and have already signed an incredible ten players in their desperate attempts to get back to the top of Serie A and develop into a European force once again.
Signing Bale would certainly get them back on the map and it's the cherry on top of what has been a successful summer.
Milan lack a player like Bale, an experienced world-class winner, who can win a game on his own. Moreover, he'd fit in perfectly on the right hand side, able to cut onto his left foot.
Despite spending a huge amount of money this summer, the Italians could afford Bale and will certainly be one of the clubs interested in getting him out of Madrid.
Convincing Bale to move to Italy for a club that isn't Juventus will prove tough, though.
4 Tottenham Hotspur
A return to Spurs.
Romantic? Yes. Unrealistic? Extremely. That won't stop the Spurs faithful dreaming of a return to the club for their former superstar, though.
It would be hard for Spurs to improve on their starting XI, but Bale is one of the few players that could do so. Not only that, he would provide that match-winning ability, leadership and experience that Spurs currently lack.
All of the other top six sides have a player who can pick up the ball, drive at a team before sticking it in the top corner. Bale has built his world class reputation doing just so.
In truth, it is highly unlikely Daniel Levy would sanction such an expensive move for an ageing and injury prone player with no resale value, especially when their is a new stadium being built. The Welshman would, though, arguably pay back the cost in shirt sales and commercial ventures, such is his fanbase and marketability.
Stranger things have happened...
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