Tottenham have a major new rival for the signature of Gareth Bale this summer, as the Wales winger continues to mull over his next move.
Bale will bring the curtain down on a tumultuous nine years in Spain after arriving from Spurs in 2013 for €100.8m. He has endured a topsy-turvy time with Los Blancos. He has helped them win LaLiga and the Champions League, but has also found himself ostracised for long spells.
The Wales star will be out of contract in June and has been strongly tipped to head back to north London.
Newcastle have also been mentioned as a potential destination. However, Bale could return home and join Cardiff, with the odds slashed on the winger heading back to his homeland.
The Bluebirds are now the joint-favourites with Tottenham to snap up the 32-year-old, if he decides to carry on playing.
There have also been strong rumours that Bale could hang up his boots, if Wales fail to qualify for the World Cup.
Rob Page’s side will face the winner of the delayed Scotland/Ukraine clash for the right to head to Qatar later in 2022. But Page insists Bale will carry on if Wales get to the promised land, although his next destination remains a mystery.
The attacker had an incredible time at Spurs before heading to Spain. He notched 55 goals in 203 games after struggling to make an impact initially following his move from Southampton as a fresh-faced 18-year-old.
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But Bale is a Cardiff fan and his uncle Chris Pike is a club legend. The winger admitted his support in a Q&A with Joe Rodon while on loan at Tottenham last season.
Cardiff facing Bale issue
The biggest issue to Cardiff’s hopes of landing what would be an incredible coup is finances.
Despite being set for life, Bale is still expected to command a fairly hefty salary and it remains to be seen whether the Bluebirds can match it.
However, a return to Spurs to play under Antonio Conte would see Bale continue performing at the highest possible level of club football ahead of the winter showpiece.
Newcastle remain the outlier in this situation though. The St James’ Park outfit can offer Bale the large salary is likely to want, especially given their Premier League status is close to be secured.