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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Possible Destinations for Gareth Bale by Mark Smith

by Mark Smith for World Football Commentaries

Image credit: AndhikaMPPP.

Mark Smith discusses five potential future destinations of Gareth Bale who is currently at Real Madrid.

Discussion Items:

1. Manchester United.
2. Paris San Germain.
3. AC Milan.
4. Manchester City.
5. Bayern Munich.

Gareth Bale has been the focal point of criticism after Real Madrid have fallen short at the crucial point this season. Surrendering an early season lead to Barcelona has been compounded by the failure to justify their position as Champions League favourites.

And it’s the 25 year-old Welshman who has felt the brunt of the fans frustration. Bale has been regularly booed by the Madrid fans and speculation is rife that he could be the first major casualty at the Bernabeu this summer.
But where could Bale end up next? Here are five possible destinations for the €100m attacking midfielder.

1. Manchester United
Louis Van Gaal would love to sign Bale this summer to turn his side into serious title challengers. It’s the headline signing that would send a message to the rest of Europe that United can still dine at the top table.
There are, however, a few caveats involved. To generate the funds necessary the Red Devils would need to ship on one or two – most likely Angel Di Maria – although Real Madrid have been eyeing the United goalkeeper David De Gea.
So any transfer between the two sides looks dependent on the young Spanish stopper heading in the other direction.
2. Paris San Germain
The new powerhouse among the European elite must also harbour aspirations of signing Bale should he become available.
Paris Saint Germain have secured their third consecutive domestic title but it’s Champions League success the Qatari owners really crave and the arrival of Bale will turn the French side into real contenders.
The club’s front line of Cavani, Ibrahamovic and Lavezzi is a fearsome one but it’s also an ageing one, so the prospect of signing Bale, who still has his best years ahead of him, would be attractive. However, like United, they would need to balance the books to satisfy FFP rules.

Image credit: AndhikaMPPP.

3. AC Milan

The fallen Serie A giants are in need of major surgery if they are to compete at the top again. So the potential signing of Gareth Bale could herald in a new era for the Rossoneri.
Obviously Bale won’t come cheap, but there have been rumours that Milan are on the verge of a takeover that will see fresh investment in the playing squad. And Bale is the kind of marquee signing that will get the Milan fans dreaming of a renaissance.
Bale was the hero and focal point of Tottenham Hotspur two years ago and is more suited to having a team built around him. There are, however, two major stumbling blocks that make it an unlikely transfer – one being the lack of Champions League, or any kind of European football for that matter, and secondly the chances of winning any immediate silverware would be remote.

Image credit: AndhikaMPPP.

4. Manchester City
Manchester City have enough in the bank to sign Bale and would love nothing more than to steal the flying Welsh winger from under the noses of bitter rivals United.
Again, though, it’s a question of satisfying FFP rules and reducing the wage bill to an acceptable level. Yaya Toure is almost certain to leave Eastlands in the summer and would free up a considerable sum on the wage bill.
Meanwhile, a string of squad players like Jovetic, Dzeko and Milner could also be on their way out of the club and that would help balance in the books.
5. Bayern Munich
The German champions suffered a second successive Champions League exit at the semi final stage and will no doubt be looking to add that extra bit of quality this summer – with Bale surely on their shortlist of targets.
The Bavarian club cannot rely on the ageing duo of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery forever, so Bale’s signature could re-invigorate the club as well as adding extra depth to their talented pool of wingers.
Nevertheless, signing a player for around €80-100m is very unlike Bayern Munich and it would be a surprise to see Bale on his way to Germany in the coming months.

About the Author

Mark Smith is a freelance journalist based in Prague with an extensive knowledge of European football. He has a penchant for teams that play in red and white - a Slavia Prague follower and a long-suffering Liverpool fan. This is his second contribution at World Football Commentaries.

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