The future of Real Madrid and Wales winger Gareth Bale has been the subject of much discussion this summer.
After a public falling out with Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, it’s clear that the four time Champions League winner has no future at Real.
This has lead to a situation that is informative of the current state of football. Gareth Bale is 30, and earns £600,000 a week. This actually prices him out of a move back to the cash rich Premier League.
His only option seems to be the Chinese Super League, where players can still earn a massive pay day for now. However, Gareth Bale is not going to make it easy for Real Madrid.
He is refusing to lower his wage demands, which caused CSL side Jiangsu Suning to pull out of negotiations. The message from Gareth Bale to Zidane is clear – I can do this for as long as you can.
Bale is already an unpopular figure amongst Real Madrid fans. His failure to learn Spanish and preference of solitary days playing golf over team activities has turned them against him.
Now, he is drawing criticism from much closer to home. Former Wales international and Real Madrid manager John Toshack spoke to the BBC about Bale on Monday night.
“Terrible to have to take a pay cut to £150,000 a week – how can they manage with that?!
“He’s got a family and a couple of children, how can you manage?!
“It saddens me – sickens and saddens me the way that this has gone. And nothing comes out from Gareth. Nothing. Only his agent, this, that – sad, sad for the football I know and loved, it saddens and sickens me.”
“Go and play. Just play the game. Say what you actually think.
“Don’t have somebody else telling people what should happen, you tell them what you want, what you like, where you want to play.
“Have a little bit more personality yourself, you don’t need agents or people to talk for you. You speak yourself.
“I haven’t seen Gareth say anything. I’m reading all this stuff about the criticism that Bale is taking – and it’s justified.
“Come out Gareth, do an interview, speak yourself. You’ve been there for six or seven years now – you don’t speak the language.
“That’s an insult to the people you are working for. You try and you learn the language and if you make mistakes early on then people forgive you.
“But to have somebody else coming out and speaking for you, no, no, no.
“And even if you can say good morning and good afternoon, 1-0, 2-0, that was a corner, should have had a free-kick, little things like that will endear you to the people.
“Gareth’s situation – nothing. It’s not gone down well at all here in Spain and it saddens me.”