Gareth Bale‘s six-year stay at Real Madrid could finally be coming to an end.
In the battle between an unstoppable force (Real Madrid) and an immovable object (Bale), it appears both have relented, as Bale is reportedly nearing a move to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning. Depending on the outlet, the reports differ, but they’re incredibly lucrative for Bale and despite leaving top-level European football, it’s almost a no-brainer.
The Telegraph reports that Bale would earn more than $1.25 million per week ($64.5 million per year), while Marca reported Bale will earn around $24.5 million per year. Perhaps between the two sources, it will be somewhere in the middle. In any case, it’s a lot – A LOT – of money.
It’s been an interesting past few weeks for Bale. First, especially with Zidane back in charge, it seemed Bale was frozen out in the cold, with Zidane even going out of his way to say in a press conference recently during Real Madrid’s North American tour that Bale was very close to leaving.
Then, Bale appeared off the bench and scored for Real Madrid in its 2-2 draw with Arsenal. Bale was also included on the bench for Real Madrid in its mini derby against Atletico Madrid at MetLife Stadium on Friday evening.
But now, with so many different outlets reporting his departure, Bale almost seems certain to be leaving Real Madrid for China.
There’s a lot to question about the move. For one, it’s proof that he’s done competing at the top level against Europe’s best. While reaching your maximum earning potential is crucial for every athlete, it can come at a cost. In this case, Bale likely would have had to take pay cut to join another club, and it’s clear Bale preferred to keep his current salary or even increase it.
It’s a blow for the Wales National Team as well, to lose it’s top player to a lower league, though as Brazil has showed in the past, sometimes key players can play in China and still be called back into the national team.
For Real Madrid, it appears that Zidane has won the battle against Florentino Pérez, with Real Madrid likely just releasing Bale as a free agent, instead of demanding a massive transfer fee.