Sunday 25 August 2019

Gareth Bale 'close' to agreeing a deal that will make him the highest paid player in world football

Gareth Bale has won the Champions League on four occasions (Nick Potts/PA)
Gareth Bale has won the Champions League on four occasions (Nick Potts/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Gareth Bale's advisers are believed to be close to finalising a deal that will see the Welshman move to Chinese side Jiangsu Suning and earn upwards of £1m-a-week.

The extraordinary three-year contract under discussion will see the 30-year-old become the new face of Chinese football, with marketing experts suggesting his presence in the Chinese Super League could allow him to establish himself as the biggest star in the lucrative Far East market.

Jiangsu, who also recently signed ex-Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan defender Miranda, are believed to be keen to sign Bale as tax regulations designed to curb the spending of Chinese Super League clubs only apply on transfer fees and not player wages.

With Real Madrid keen to off-load Bale swiftly as they look to fund further transfer moves, Bale appears to have reluctantly accepted his fate of a move to China, in a deal that has become impossible to ignore given the levels of finances under discussion.

Bale's future at Real Madrid has been the subject of intense speculation in recent month, but his fate was sealed when coach Zinedine Zidane confirmed he was keen to off-load the four-time Champions League winner in this transfer window.

"It's nothing personal. There comes a time when things are done because they need to be done," said Zidane of Bale.

"I've not got anything against him. We have to make decisions and change things, that's all there is to it. You’re aware of the situation and there'll be a change to it. The situation will change and it's for the best for everyone. That's how things go."

The stance from the Bale camp changed after those comments from Zidane, as their initial eagerness to remain at Real Madrid altered when it became clear he was being edged out of the club without ceremony.

With the Chinese transfer window set to close to next Wednesday, Bale looks set to fly to China imminently to finalise a move that could open the prospect of a loan move to Italian Serie A side Inter Milan, with Jiangsu's owners also owning a 70 per-cent stake in the San Siro club.

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