The agent of Gareth Bale has confirmed he will leave Real Madrid this summer and could potentially return to the Premier League if Wales qualify for the World Cup.
The 32-year-old will see his nine-year association with Los Blancos come to an end upon the conclusion of 2021/22 when his contract runs out, bringing the curtain down on a polarising era that saw him claim 15 trophies but fall out with fans at the end.
Bale has long since fallen down the pecking order at the Bernabeu and spent last season out on loan, returning to Tottenham Hotspur, where he bagged 16 goals in 34 games across all competitions under Jose Mourinho and later interim boss Ryan Mason.
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The Cardiff-born forward has been tipped to return to north London this summer when he becomes a free agent, but his representative, Jonathan Barnett has intimated that any potential move to the Premier League could hinge on whether Wales qualify for the World Cup later this year.
“He will leave Real Madrid, but we have to wait for what Wales will be able to do [in their Qatar 2022 qualifiers],” Barnett told Portuguese outlet Record.
“It all depends on whether Wales qualify for the World Cup, then we will make a decision, which may vary whether or not Wales go to the World Cup.
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“Is it more likely to return to England? I think so, but we’ll have to wait and see if Wales qualifies for the World Cup.”
The Dragons face an anxious wait to see if they will be on the plane to Qatar in November. Rob Page’s side face a winner-takes-all play-off against either Scotland or Ukraine, having come through their Path A semi-final showdown against Austria 2-1 in March, with Bale netting a match-winning brace.
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Carlo Ancelotti recently went on record to defend Real Madrid supporters jeering Bale, insisting their ‘whistles are understandable’ given what has happened over the past few seasons.
The whistling largely stems from Bale’s apparent reluctance to learn Spanish, but perhaps more famously after he held up a banner reading ‘Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order’, while on international duty three years ago. However, Barnett was also quick to hit out at claims he doesn’t know the language.
Barnett told Deportes Cuatro: “He speaks Spanish. What happens is that people who do not know him say that he does not. Stupid and ignorant people who have not spoken to him. It’s a shame.
“He has always been very happy in Madrid, he arrived as a young man, his children were born in the city, he has donated a lot of money to Spanish hospitals for Covid (a reported £400k) and he loves the city and the club, and I think the parasites are the ones who speak ill of him.”