Gareth Bale's £85 million transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid in 2013 was the most expensive transfer fee paid in the history of football. After shining as a world class player in the Premier League, a dream move to Los Blancos was realised. His first season was a very impressive one, scoring 22 goals in 44 games in all competitions, including a winning goal against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final and also scored the goal that gave them the lead in extra time in the Champions League final victory against local rivals Atletico Madrid.
His second season started a well too, with 6 goals in his first 12 league games, but his form in the last few months has declined massively, with just a solitary goal in his last nine league appearances.
Add to that the perception of Bale amongst the Real Madrid fans, with the Welshman regularly targeted for boos from his own fans. This started in January 2015 with a game against Espanyol, where he was booed for choosing to shoot instead of passing to Cristiano Ronaldo.
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Since then it has gotten worse, with his car subject to an attack from Real Madrid fans following their 2-1 El Clasico defeat to Barcelona at the Nou Camp.
So with the situation looking more and more dire for Bale, he has been heavily linked with a return to the Premier League, with champions Chelsea and both Manchester United and Manchester City interested in signing him. With his game suited to the Premier League more so than La Liga, and the treatment he is getting from the Real Madrid fans, it seems almost inevitable that his Real Madrid career could be going out with a whimper.
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A major attraction could be Manchester United, with Louis Van Gaal's men ensured of a top four finish, and a summer of multiple comings and goings at the club, it can be an exciting project for potential signings. And with Memphis Depay already on his way in, many more are expected to follow.
But also interesting are the potential departures, with Robin van Persie and Angel Di Maria linked with moves away. With Di Maria a massive success with Los Blancos and the adoration he had with the fans, coupled with his struggles since his £59.7 million move to United in the summer of 2014 and Gareth Bale's seeming nightmare, a potential money-plus-player deal is not inconceivable.
Then the appeal of Manchester City is also there, with winning the Premier League twice in the last four years, as well as their potential spending power.
Add to that their struggles this season, and clear need to a squad revamp, Gareth Bale could be just what they need to force a serious title challenge next season.
And finally Chelsea, who are the champions this season, and impressive in doing so. Jose Mourinho will be looking to strengthen his side in the defence of his side's Premier League crown, but even more so, they will want to be a major force in Europe next season. Gareth Bale and the quality he can bring could be just the man to take them to the next level.
With their defence pretty solid, a little extra something to compliment Hazard, Fabregas and Diego Costa could be the difference for them next season.
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