Real Madrid: Bale potentially laying ground for free transfer
Seeing Gareth Bale depart the Bernabéu on a free is a scenario that certainly would not represent a financial disaster for Real Madrid...
Gareth Bale's camp has once again made it clear to AS that the Wales international does not want to leave the Santiago Bernabéu this summer. However, it is believed that Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett, may in fact be laying the ground for his client to depart Los Blancos on a free transfer.
Madrid keen to get high-earning Bale off wage bill...
Given that Madrid have finished paying off the 101m-euro figure that Bale commanded when joining from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013, letting him leave for nothing would not eat into the club's accounts in that regard. Equally, if they do receive a fee for him, it will all go into the disposable-income column.
Furthermore, Bale's annual, pre-tax salary of about 30m euros is also a key consideration. As he is under contract at Real Madrid for a further three years, the 13-time European champions stand to make a 90m-euro saving on the forward's wages if they can offload him this summer.
Waiting game could force Los Merengues' hand
This is a fact that is certainly not lost on Barnett, who is also well aware that Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane is eager for Bale to move on, and that taking his client's departure right down to the transfer-window wire could leave the club in a position where they feel they have little option but to allow him to go on a free.
Such an eventuality would also enable Bale, whose wage demands have been a stumbling block towards attracting potential buyers, to use the lack of a transfer fee to negotiate a more favourable pay packet at his new club.
For the time being, though, the 30-year-old's camp continues to insist that he intends to stay at Real Madrid. All part of the plan?
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