What are Gareth Bale’s options this January?

It’s a relationship that has descended into something of a pantomime over the past few months. The breakdown in understanding between Gareth Bale and Real Madrid, including the club’s notoriously tough-to-please support, has been well-documented. Indeed, it’s difficult to envisage how the Welshman will remain in the Spanish capital for much longer.

But then this was viewed to be the case in the summer. By all accounts, Bale was within hours of securing a move to the Chinese Super League only for the plug to be pulled on the deal at the last moment. There were no other bidders for the Welshman and so he stayed at the Santiago Bernabeu for another season.

In terms of his performances on the pitch, Bale has been one of Real Madrid’s most consistent performers this season. He has come up with big moments in big games. Zinedine Zidane still seems to have some faith in the player, picking him ahead of Vinicius Junior for the Clasico away to Barcelona earlier in the month.

And yet it seems inevitable that Bale will be touted around Europe once again as soon as the January transfer window opens in a few days’ time. So what options will be open to the 30-year-old as he looks to revitalise a career that has stalled over the past two years or so?

A return to Tottenham has been mooted for quite some time and that possibility might be most feasible this January. With Mauricio Pochettino gone and Jose Mourinho now in charge Daniel Levy will have more freedom to bring in the marquee signings he always envisaged for the North London club. Bale would certainly fit the bill in that regard.

Bayern Munich has also been mentioned as a potential option for Bale, but it seems unlikely that the Bavarians will make a move while they are still without a permanent manager. Manchester United are long-term suitors of the Welshman, but their interest has waned in recent times as they head in a different direction.

Meanwhile, new regulations regarding international players means that a switch to China now looks to be off the cards. Bale’s best option, in the meantime, might well be to stay at Real Madrid where he will continue to be a useful player in a tight title race at the top of La Liga. But if he decides to finally leave, a return home might be the only option open to him at this time.

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