Reported Newcastle United target Gareth Bale could leave Real Madrid for free in wake of the financial uncertainty caused by the global health crisis, according to the Daily Mail.
Bale, who left Tottenham Hotspur for Real in a then world record £85million fee in 2013 (BBC Sport), appears to have found himself surplus to requirements at the Spanish capital club.
This season, the 30-year-old has made just 11 starts in La Liga, and has netted just three goals in all competitions this season, with injuries and loss of form playing their part in his struggles.
With football just one of the industries expected to be rocked in wake of current events, the Daily Mail reports that Real and Barcelona have set about cutting costs.
Real’s players have already agreed a 10 percent cut in wages between now and the end of the season, set to double if the season cannot be completed, while next season the club’s wage bill may have to be cut by as much as 30 percent, the outlet has reported.
With Bale reported to be on £350,000-a-week at the Bernabeu, the Daily Mail speculates that he, as well as James Rodriguez, could be offloaded to cut costs, both players currently surplus to Zinedine Zidane’s requirements.
Brought in by Real as the potential successor to Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale has fallen out of favour at the Bernabeu and speculation about his future has been raging for months.
Although loss of form and injuries have played their part, the Welshman has nonetheless been a crucial component of an incredibly successful period for Los Blancos – four Champions League trophies on his CV is testament to this.
His goalscoring tally stands at 105 goals from 249 appearances, plus 67 assists – he still has plenty to give to the game, and as things stand, a post-takeover Newcastle would probably be the only European side able to afford his current wages.