Gareth Bale is failing to fill the void at Real Madrid left by Cristiano Ronaldo leaving for Juventus last summer, so according to Marca, Real might kill two birds with one stone by using Bale as a “bargaining chip” in a deal for Eden Hazard next summer.
If you’ve heard this before, that’s because it’s hardly a new bit of speculation, either in the sense of pushing Real to actually bid for Hazard, and pushing the Bale angle with respect to a Premier League return.
Right after Real Madrid confirmed their third consecutive Champions League trophy last season, Bale voiced his worries about his lack of chances. With Cristiano gone, those demands have been dutifully attended to, but, entirely unsurprisingly, he has largely failed to reproduce his predecessor’s output. Bale has 12 goals and 5 assists in 30 games, most of them from the right wing. Last year, Cristiano Ronaldo notched 44 goals in 44 matches (with 8 assists), including 15 goals in the Champions League (he has 21 goals in 33 games for Juventus so far).
Bale has now dropped below Brazilian youngster Vinícius Junior in the pecking order, and his time in Spain could truly be up — regardless of whether he’s replaced by Hazard or Neymar or Christien Eriksen from Spurs or whoever.
If Hazard decides to leave Chelsea next season, Abramovich might look to answer his departure with a big-money, big-name signing. Bale would have fit the bill one or two years ago. But certainly not this season, nor next summer, nor ever in the future.