Gareth Bale is expected to check in for pre-season as Real Madrid prepare to unleash star-studded trio including the Welshman, Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard… if the exile can replicate his Spurs goal tally, Carlo Ancelotti will be a very happy man
- Gareth Bale is expected to check in for pre-season training at Real Madrid in July
- The 31-year-old attacker had hinted at not seeing out his contract at Los Blancos
- However, Bale looks set to return as he bids to feature for Wales at Qatar 2022
- Bale’s return will see take-two of a star-studded attacking trio for Real Madrid
- Carlo Ancelotti will hope to galvanise Bale after things fell flat under Zidane
Real Madrid have interpreted Gareth Bale’s vow to keep on playing as reason to expect him back at their Valdebebas training ground for pre-season training in July.
And with the club still pessimistic about making signings this summer Spanish media have even started to contemplate a second chance for the Bale, Benzema, Hazard front three that never got off the ground in the 2019-20 season.
Eden Hazard joined the club that season from Chelsea and the plan was for him to replace Cristiano Ronaldo and form a formidable new trident with Bale and Karim Benzema.
Gareth Bale is set to check in for pre-season at Real Madrid under new boss Carlo Ancelotti
Bale, 31, had hinted at retirement from football at the end of the 2020-21 league season
But injury disrupted the plan and the three players only coincided on the pitch during seven games. It could be take-two next season with Carlo Ancelotti combining three of the most expensive players in the club’s history with youngsters Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo Goes, as well as Marco Asensio.
After Bale said he would not reveal his future plans until after the Euros there was speculation in Spain that he would not see out the final year of his contract in the Spanish capital.
But last Saturday, after Wales’ defeat to Denmark Bale told Welsh television channel S4C: ‘I want to continue to play. I love playing for Wales. I will play for Wales until the day I stop playing football.’
The belief in Madrid is that he will now form part of Ancelotti’s squad for next season with the Qatar World Cup the prize at the end of the year.
However, he is understood to be returning as Madrid prepare to unleash a formidable front three containing the Welshman (left), Karim Benzema (centre) and Eden Hazard (right)
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez spoke highly of Bale in a recent radio appearance calling him ‘one of the best players in Europe’ and recalling his most famous goals for the club – the gallop from the halfway line to win the Copa del Rey in 2014 and the scissor-kick volley against Liverpool in 2018 in the Champions League final.
He will want Ancelotti to make the best of the situation when pre-season training begins next month.
‘He hasn’t played a lot in the Premier League,’ the Italian coach said in his presentation replacing Zinedine Zidane earlier this summer. ‘But he has scored a lot of goals.’
Earlier in the year a Marca poll asked readers if Bale should be moved on at all costs this summer or if he had something to offer to the team if he saw out the final year of his contract, 79 per cent ticked the former box and 21 per cent the latter.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez spoke highly of the Welsh exile in a recent interview
Perez reminisced about Bale’s stunning goals against Liverpool and Barcelona for the club
Ancelotti (left) will be tasked with getting the 31-year-old back to his best at the Bernabeu
That might seem like a low level of support but Bale staying actually polled more than Marcelo staying and Isco staying, and supporters in the Spanish capital have been impressed by his commitment at the Euros and by his stunning performance against Turkey.
Ancelotti is trusted to get the best out of Bale despite saying in his book ‘Quiet Leadership‘ published in 2016 that he had a disagreement with the player over his position on the pitch.
Ancelotti recalled being summoned to talk to Real Madrid’s president Florentino Perez after Bale’s agent had expressed the player’s preference for playing more centrally.
Madrid fans have been impressed by Bale’s passion and performances for Wales at the Euros
Bale’s tally of 16 goals for Spurs was just three short of Hazard, Vinicius and Rodrygo combined
Ancelotti wrote in his book: ‘Bale had fantastic world-class qualities and all that I was trying to do was help him understand his core strengths so he could fulfil his potential.’ He told Perez he would speak to him the following morning.
When he did, he assured Bale that while he did not want to change the way the team was lined up in the middle of the campaign, he would address the possibility of playing Bale more centrally the following summer.
He was sacked at the end of that season before he could keep to his word.
Their reunion will see him operate Bale in his current favoured position on the right of a front three with Hazard and Benzema the other components of the trio.
Ancelotti (centre) said if Bale is ‘motivated’ he will have a strong season on his return to Madrid
Bale managed 16 goals at Tottenham in all competitions last season and that was only three less than Hazard, Rodrygo, Vinicius and Asensio put together.
If he matches that tally of 16 he scored last season for Spurs it will give Ancelotti the boost he is going to need if he is to make a success of his second spell in charge at the club without big signings.
‘If he’s motivated,’ Ancelotti said at his presentation, ‘I’ve got no doubts he can have a great season.’
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