Fresh doubts over Bale's Real Madrid future

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
What next for Gareth Bale?
What next for Gareth Bale?

The prospects of Gareth Bale leaving Real Madrid this summer appear to have edged closer after a series of talks between the club and his agent Jonathan Barnett on Wednesday.

Bale has insisted that he is in no rush to give up on his ambition of winning over Real Madrid supporters who have persistently criticised his performances this summer, with the £86m man very much cast as one of the villains of a trophyless season for the Spanish giants.

With Manchester United preparing to try and lure Bale to Old Trafford, fresh reports in Spain suggest Bale is prepared to walk away from Real Madrid if the club are prepared to listen to offers for him this summer.

Bale has scored 13 La Liga goals for Real Madrid this season and set up plenty more for his team-mates, but that tally has not been enough to silence his doubters.

The imminent departure of Carlo Ancelotti as Real Madrid boss is doing little to ease Bale's concerns over his future, with news on Thursday night that Ancelotti's assistant Paul Clement is set to replace the sacked Steve McClaren at Derby evidence that changes are coming at the Bernabeu.

Whether those changes will see Bale swept away under a new coaching regime remains to be seen, but there is a growing belief that Bale's sale could be viewed as the best option to fund a summer of transfer spending.

The stumbling block over a possible Bale transfer could be the huge fee Real Madrid would want for the Welshman, but United may be prepared to strike a deal that would suit all parties.

What seems increasingly clear is that the notion that Bale is certain to remain in Spain this summer is no longer relevant, with the possibility of him making a move two years after his world record transfer from Tottenham now very real.