Gareth Bale is still a Real Madrid player and you would have got very long odds on that being the case this summer.
After a concerted effort from Real head coach Zinedine Zidane and president Florentino Perez to sell the Welsh winger, Bale ended up staying at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Speaking ahead of Wales’ crucial EURO 2020 qualifier against Slovakia on Thursday, Bale admitted he has been playing with a certain amount of anger about the situation.
“You play with a lot of emotion. Anger comes into it of course, but I haven’t got anything to clear my mind about,” Bale said. “I try and give my best whether here [with Wales] or in Madrid and I will continue to do that.”
Bale looked certain to leave for China in the summer but the move broke down and after Marco Asensio’s serious knee injury he was suddenly needed by Zidane.
His start to the season for Real has been modest, with Bale scoring twice in six La Liga appearances as the Spanish giants sit top of the table.
And Bale clearly isn’t best pleased about the way he was treated by Real’s hierarchy, which mirrors the disdain their famously demanding supporters show him.
At the age of 30, Bale still has plenty of good years ahead of him but you have to wonder if this will be his last in Madrid. The only stumbling block is a Premier League club, or a club anywhere else in the globe, being able to match his incredible salary of more than $370,000 per week.
Bale isn’t keen to leave Madrid in a hurry and has another three years left on his current contract, so unless someone gets close to those numbers, he will remain in Madrid and he will probably remain angry too.