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Gareth Bale transfer: Will Tottenham or Manchester United move for the Real Madrid star? Here's what we know

The i logo The i 4 days ago Simon Harrison
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It is that time of year again. As surely as the summer comes around in June, so will the discussions and rumours surrounding Gareth Bale's future. The Welshman has had a complicated stay at Real Madrid, contributing some of the club's most important goals but simultaneously doing little to truly win the love of Los Blancos fans.

Bale is no stranger to being linked with a move away from the Spanish capital, but still has three years remaining on a six-year contract signed back in 2016 – potentially fuelled by a transfer ban that Real were enduring at the time.

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Reports from Spain suggest that Zinedine Zidane might be keen to move on several players this summer, including the 29-year-old, whose poor injury record has stopped him gathering enough momentum to justify Real's huge outlay on his wages.

Here's everything we know about Bale's future as it stands.

What has Bale said?

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Bale has had huge highs and lows at Real Madrid (Getty Images)

Bale has no real voice within the media, rarely giving any interviews in English or Spanish, with his lack of command for his second language blamed as one of the reasons for why he has shied away from the spotlight in Madrid.

His agent, Jonathan Barnett, has been far more vocal on his client's behalf, regularly updating British media outlets about Bale's situation due to the fear of an unfair portrayal of his attitude and lifestyle within Spanish media. He has certainly not been given an easy ride in the press.

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Bale's agent to ESPNFC:

"Gareth is fine. He is still a Real player with three years left on his contract. He has always been clear about that. And if he is picked he will play. You would have to ask Mr Zidane what he wants to do, but Gareth will keep trying."

Related: Transfer Window Gossip Round-Up [Read Sport]

Bale's agent to Sky Sports:

"He wants to stay. I am not sure that Mr Zidane wants him to stay but at the moment Gareth wants to stay. He has got a contract, he will quite happily see it out until 2022. He has been and is, in my opinion, one of the top three or four players in the world. This game is a game of opinions and Mr Zidane doesn't think that. That is his opinion, he is entitled to it, I won't criticise him."

Zidane left Bale out of Real Madrid's matchday squad to face Real Sociedad recently, a game in which Los Blancos were defeated by a 3-1 scoreline. When asked why the Wales star had been omitted, the French boss was firm in his response.

"I take decisions and it is clear what I have done this weekend. We will see next week and next season," he explained, ensuring that the speculation will long rumble on.

How much will he cost?

(Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) © Getty (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Various British media outlets have suggested that a loan deal worth £10 million could be the solution to the Bale conundrum, a move which would see the Welshman move back to Tottenham temporarily. Given that Real Madrid signed him for around £85 million back in 2013, it is unlikely that the club would want to undercut that figure if only to save face.

Given Spurs' modest wage structure for a club of their level, Daniel Levy seems highly unlikely to want to take on Bale's current salary of just over €40 million a year. Currently, the 29-year-old is thought to be the fifth-highest-paid player in world football. Only a handful of clubs can afford to pay such extortionate wages.

Given that Bale's contract runs until 2022, ensuring that he can continue to collect a jaw-dropping wage for several further years, Real Madrid are going to have to come up with a number of big incentives for other clubs to take on such an expensive injury risk.

Where should he go?

(Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) © Getty (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Manchester United and Spurs have always been the two Premier League clubs linked with the Welsh star, but a potential deal would make absolutely zero financial sense for either.

While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's remit next season will be getting more out of the expensively assembled squad at his disposal, Spurs are often cautious in the transfer market and a high-profile risk such as Bale doesn't match the criteria of how Levy does business.

Below the big-hitters in the Champions League, no other club could afford Bale's incredibly high wages without a considerable subsidy on Real Madrid's part – which may become a possibility if the summer wears on and Zidane still isn't convinced.

Bale could be another jewel in Spurs' crown after the opening of their new stadium, but the reality is that the Welshman is an expensive gamble. He offers dynamism, a terrific left foot and would return to England as a well rounded, experienced winner. A loan deal could be a happy medium, but no club near the peak of world football should be looking at Bale with a long-term permanent contract in mind.

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