Welsh international midfielder Gareth Bale is in no man’s land after a proposed move to the Chinese Super League collapsed at the weekend.
Bale, who has just turned 30, was all set to join Jiangsu Suning, managed by Romanian Cosmin Olăroiu, and would have earned £1 million a week.
But the Chinese Super League limits the number of foreign players and Jiangsu reached their quota on Sunday when they signed Anderlecht striker Ivan Santini, who is also 30 but would be on a small fraction of the wage Bale was due to be on.
— 360Sources (@360Sources) July 27, 2019
Bale has scored 78 goals in 155 games for Real Madrid - a phenomenal return for a midfielder - and has three years left on his contract.
Last year Manchester United toyed with the idea of signing him, but decided against it.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) July 16, 2019
He has been prone to injury - having started only 80 games in four seasons -and Zinedine Zidane, who has returned to the Bernabeu stadium as manager, has decided he is not central to his team plans for the future.
Real Madrid are paying Bale £350,000 a week, so they are keen to get him off their wages bill, but few clubs globally could afford to pay him anything similar and, at 30 and with such repetitive injuries, few managers are willing to take a gamble on him.
— A West (@ayyy_west) July 28, 2019
Chinese Super League clubs, whose transfer window closes on Wednesday, 31 July, have large treasure chests but Jiangsu Suning were the only team who had expressed an interest in Bale.
— Toby Tarrant (@tobytarrant) July 27, 2019
Zidane had said it would be "best for everyone" if his Bale left quickly, which his agent branded “disrespectful” to the player.
Social media has been divided about whether Zidane is right to dispose of Bale and whether he has treated him respectfully and others on Twitter joked about his trophy-laden time at Real Madrid and said he had “wasted his career”.
— Owen Price (@IAmOwenPrice) July 27, 2019
Suning, the electrical retailer which owns the club, are also a majority shareholder in Inter Milan and it is thought one option would be for Bale to join the 18-time Italian champions on a season loan.
— Goal (@goal) July 26, 2019
Inter Milan were also pursuing Manchester United and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku, who would have made the perfect foil for Bale’s wingplay.But Inter were unable to meet United’s fee for the player and they are now thought to be looking at Paris St Germain’s Edinson Cavani.