Real Madrid have decided they are not prepared to let Welsh winger Gareth Bale leave the club for free this summer, 12 months after they were made to regret making the same choice.
According to 90mins, Los Blancos were minutes away from offloading Bale and his reported £600,000-a-week wages to Chinese side Jiangsu Suning, only for president Florentino Pérez to block the move at the last minute as he felt Bale should command a transfer fee.
His reward for that was to pay Bale another year’s salary and watch on as he bagged more media scandals than goals.
Now, with the coronavirus pandemic crippling Real’s finances, most assumed the club would do whatever it takes just to say goodbye to Bale.
Well, it turns out that’s not the case. According to Marca, Real will demand some form of fee to get rid of Bale’s high wages as they are adamant he is still a valuable player. How’d that decision work out for you last time?
Bizarrely, it’s said that Real are ‘optimistic’ of finding a buyer for Bale as they believe the Welshman will push for an exit, despite him never doing that before and his agent repeatedly insisting that they have no plans to leave Madrid.
Mundo Deportivo go one step further and put a price tag on Bale: a whopping £22m.
Real believe Bale should command the same fee as James Rodriguez, who is closing in on his own escape from the Santiago Bernabéu. Everton are close to landing the Colombian, and Real hope Bale will be next in ‘Operation Exit’.
The difference with Bale is that his enormous wages make it almost impossible for any side to afford that £22m. Tottenham know they couldn’t, which has prompted the same speculative links to Manchester United that we get every year.
David Beckham’s Inter Miami have also been linked with the Welshman, but affording such a deal would be even harder for a Major League Soccer side.
Bale still has two years remaining on his contract, meaning Real are facing the prospect of paying him another £26m in wages before his deal eventually expires. You’d think Real would just be happy to avoid that, but that’s seemingly not the case.