Real Madrid: The Gareth Bale situation might turn into a bigger disaster

Real Madrid, Gareth Bale (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Gareth Bale (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid fans breathed a sigh of relief when Los Blancos were able to find a suitor for Gareth Bale this past summer. Bale received a bit of a homecoming deal, as Tottenham Hotspur agreed to take the beleaguered winger back on a one-year loan deal in the hopes that the familiar environment would coax the best out of the oft-injured forward.

While some Madridistas have felt vindicated by Bale’s poor form in 2020-2021, seeing as how they were vilified for criticizing Bale’s poor performance last season, most fans desperately wanted to see Bale magically improve in the Premier League.

Why? Because if Bale played well, there was a chance Spurs would take him off Real’s hands. Now, there is no chance. Bale is all but guaranteed to head back to Real Madrid upon the conclusion of the 2020-2021 season, as the 31-year-old has played 232 Premier League minutes with just one goal from the spot to show for it.

The real issue with Bale returning is the salary, and his wages may have one horribly negative effect on the squad. Recall that Spurs agreed to take on a significant portion of Bale’s wages in 2020-2021.

Real Madrid may have a tough time keeping Sergio Ramos or paying David Alaba’s wages with Gareth Bale fully on the books in 2021-2022

According to a report from Carlos Forjanes of AS, Gareth Bale returning to Real Madrid for the 2021-2022 season means that Los Blancos will once again be on the hook for the player’s 30 million euro salary. Spurs don’t want him back, and now he is Real’s full responsibility. In any year, that number is already untenable for a player who produces as little as the current version of Bale. But during a pandemic, Bale’s wages could have serious consequences on the rest of the squad.

Forjanes writes that Real Madrid could lose Sergio Ramos, who is the second-highest-paid player after Bale, as a result of having to pay Bale. Lucas Vazquez is also in limbo due to the pending charges Bale will have on Real’s accounts.

Maybe Real can get lucky and find a suitor for Bale this summer, too. But Spurs were seemingly his one lifeline, and that story has not played out positively for the 31-year-old right winger. His options appear to be Los Blancos and little else.

If Bale’s salary does indeed cost Real their chance at keeping Ramos, then it stands to reason that it will also cost the team his replacement, David Alaba. The Bayern man’s wages aren’t exactly low either, as he is a world-class defender who can play at center back or left back.

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Bale alone is not responsible for Real’s financial situation, not at all. But his huge salary, poor performances, and return to the Santiago Bernabeu are harsh reminders to Real Madrid of the consequences of not selling a player at the right time. With things coming to a head, there may be a fierce ripple effect on players like Ramos and Vazquez in 2021.