No player has done more for the Welsh national team than Gareth Bale. It was already clear before Wales’ victory in the World Cup final against Ukraine, but it’s even clearer after the 32-year-old sent his country to football’s biggest international tournament to the first time since 1958 with a winning goal from a deflection. free kick.
At club level, however, it’s unclear what the rest of 2022 will hold for Bale who will leave Real Madrid after nine years at the Spanish club this summer. The winger is set to become a free agent and has a decision to make – which club will best prepare him for Wales’ 2022 World Cup campaign later this year?
Tottenham Hotspur have been mentioned as potential suitors for Bale who spent the 2020/21 season on loan at the North London club. However, Spurs have already signed a veteran winger in Ivan Perisic this summer and it’s unclear whether Bale has the work rate and defensive fiber to satisfy Antonio Conte.
A move to Manchester United seemed to be on the cards for Bale for several years but the Old Trafford club are unlikely to move at this stage in the winger’s career. New manager Erik Ten Hag needs young and hungry players to get his rebuilding project off the ground. At 32, Bale doesn’t fit that bill. Plus, he would be expensive, even as a free agent.
Recent reports claim that Cardiff City are preparing a bold offer to sign Bale as well as Wales international team-mate Aaron Ramsey, who is also expected to be away this summer. Bale was born in Cardiff but never played for a Welsh club. After nearly a decade abroad, a return home might appeal, although a fall in the Championship might not sit well with Bale. The level could be below him.
Outside the English league system, a number of MLS clubs have reportedly lined up to make their case to Bale. The 2022 MLS season continues through the summer months and Bale could therefore get going if he joins an American or Canadian club this summer. In terms of playing time, this is perhaps where Bale could best prepare for the World Cup.
Bale has been linked with Inter in the past but there have been no suggestions of an imminent switch to San Siro this summer. Nonetheless, Serie A could be a good destination for Bale and Roma could be persuaded to make a bid for the 32-year-old with Jose Mourinho keen to bring the club forward. He needs a replacement for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Bale’s future has been the subject of intense speculation for several months with Real Madrid becoming something of a personal torture chamber, but he has now reached a turning point in his career. The 2022 World Cup is its flagship. Now he must choose the right club to light the way to Qatar.