Gareth Bale isnt having a great time of it at present. Over midway through his second season after completing a world transfer record move to Real Madrid and the cracks are starting to appear in the relationship between player and club. It was a strong debut season for Bale at Los Blancos. He scored 22 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions. His brilliant individual run and finish helped overcome Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey final. A headed goal in the Champions League final against fierce city rivals Atletico helped secure Real their long targeted La Decima. Yet much like a musicians oft quoted difficult second album, there appears little chance of repeating his heroics a second time around. A succession of embarrassing defeats and insipid performances the season after has soured the post-honeymoon period for Bale and Real alike, culminating in a defeat to fierce rivals Barcelona that has seen them hand over the initiative in the race for La Liga title. That Barcelonas own attacking triumvirate of Galacticos have found form the same time Reals own have started to crumble has helped intensify the discontent amongst fans and local media alike. Bales car was the most high profile of those targeted by enraged Madridistas in the wake of the 2-1 defeat, and the situation is increasingly appearing untenable for club and player alike. Of course a player very rarely suddenly loses it. Bale is most likely just another victim in the complex and highly politicised machinations of what at times appears to be more a TV soap opera than a football club. Its difficult to argue that Bales performances this season have in any way lived up to the hefty £85.3 million (100 million) it cost for Los Blancos to bring him to Madrid, and chances are this will continue to remain a millstone around his neck that he will spend the rest of his career attempting to overcome. The player who in his last season in England won the triple honours of PFA Players Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year, as well as the Football Writers Associations Player of the Year (only the second person, after Cristiano Ronaldo, to achieve this honour in a single season) still has a lot to offer. However, like players such as Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben before him, Bale may have to look elsewhere if he is to fulfil his footballing potential. This article takes a look at the reasons why Bale leaving Real Madrid is looking evermore a probability than a possibility, as well as why Manchester United will be the likeliest destination.
Start your WhatCulture Crowd subscription
Exclusive New Videos, Documentaries, Browse WhatCulture.com Ad Free, View Articles On A Single Page & Member-only community forum.