Gareth Bale’s move to China will attract many confused - and disappointed - faces.
While unwanted by Real Madrid, Bale remains an outstanding footballer and belongs at the highest level of the game.
Yet the Welshman, 30, finds himself with little options.
According to Het Laatste Nieuws journalist Kristof Terreur, Premier League clubs aren’t willing to pay the same wages he received in Spain, worth £600,000-per-week.
And other European clubs either can’t afford him or just aren’t interested in signing him.
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It was reported on Friday evening that Bale could sign for Chinese side Jiangsu Suning.
Per Sky Sports, the former Tottenham Hotspur star could earn £1 million-per-week at the Chinese Super League club.
Bale would still earn less than Messi
Jiangsu Suning are increasingly confident that they can convince Bale to sign before the Chinese transfer window closes on Wednesday.
So Bale’s £1m-a-week wages could see him earn a whopping £52m-a-year.
But, remarkably, he would still be earning less than Lionel Messi.
In 2018, Football Leaks - per Der Spiegel - revealed that Messi is paid an annual fixed salary of €71,053,846.
Converted to pounds, that is £63,974,643 each year, or £1,230,282-per-week.
So Bale is still earning less than Messi.
The Argentinian’s contract at Barcelona also includes a one-time bonus of €63.5m and a loyalty bonus, paid if he doesn’t leave the Blaugrana before 2021, of €70m.
No wonder Barcelona’s finances have been called into question in recent weeks.
Former Shanghai SIPG director Mads Davidsen believes Bale’s potential move to Jiangsu would represent the biggest transfer in the history of Chinese football.
“There is no doubt that [if the deal happens] he would be the biggest player ever in China," he said, per Sky Sports.
"I was still at Shanghai SIPG when we bought Hulk from Zenit St Petersburg and then later Oscar from Chelsea.
"We were among the biggest transfers ever in Chinese history but now it seems Bale would be. Not only in branding and reputation wise but also his level.
“He would be a massive attraction for football in China."News Now - Sport News