Gareth Bale should pursue a transfer to the Premier League this summer in order to regain the ’spark’ that he has been bereft of at Real Madrid this season. This, at least, is the opinion of Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher.
Bale may have inspired Madrid to the Champions League and Copa del Rey last term but he has become a scapegoat for the failures of this campaign, regularly attracting the ire of the club’s hard to please supporters.
The Madridistas have been on the back of Bale for much of the season but their frustration reached its zenith following following the wasteful finishing of the £86 million man during the defeat to Juventus this week.
Bale endured a torrent of abuse from supporters as he left the stadium on Wednesday night, and speculation surrounded his future has gone into overdrive ever since - particularly in the English press.
Links to Manchester United and Chelsea have persisted for a number of months, and these have been further strengthened. His representatives have dismissed suggestions Bale could leave Madrid after two years, but Carragher is one of many urging the 25-year-old to return home.
"Watching from the sidelines on Wednesday night, as Juventus destroyed Real’s hopes of retaining the Champions League, I saw a player who was timid and lacking confidence,” Carragher wrote in the Daily Mail.
”The spark that made him so scintillating to watch had gone.
“To get it back, he should return to the Barclays Premier League this summer. Never mind what some people are saying about sticking it out in Spain for the sake of British football - this is about a young lad’s career. He would not be taking the easy way out.
“Who benefits from him being unhappy?”
He added: “If Chelsea decided to show interest and he went to Stamford Bridge, nobody would catch them in the race for the title next season.
“Equally, if the Manchester clubs signed him, they would be right back in the hunt.”
So, where next for Bale were Madrid to sell? Well, Manchester United seems the most likely destination, and there have even been reports claiming Angel di Maria and Robin van Persie could be sold in order to free up some salary space for the Welshman.
Di Maria may have produced 10 assists during his maiden campaign at Old Trafford but the British record transfer has, in the main, been deemed to have been a poor acquisition. There is no doubting that Bale will prove to be superior, if a deal can be done.
But what of Chelsea? Well, Bale could make them truly unstoppable. They would, however, would have to sell to buy - as they have done in recent windows - and it would be interesting to see who Jose Mourinho would be willing to sacrifice for a player of such talent.
Where do you think Gareth Bale will be playing his football next season? Let us know below!