Gareth Bale’s days at Real Madrid are done, the player’s importance to the side having clearly faded as the years injuries depleted his physical talents, though it was clear that many in Madrid never fully took to him even at the height of his powers.
The question now is what comes next for the 29-year-old Welshman on £350k per week after taxes. The most commonly discussed option has been Manchester United—or, just maybe, a return to Tottenham. And today you can add Liverpool to the list.
But you really, really shouldn’t. Even if former Marca chief editor Eduardo Inda says that it’s between Liverpool and a move back to Spurs for Bale, claiming in his Diario Madridista that Bale “will join either of the two finalists in the Champions League.”
At one point, Bale would have walked into nearly any eleven in the world. He wouldn’t today. His physical decline has led to a player whose production has become wildly inconsistent, and he would be no more than a bench option for the Reds.
A bench option currently making more pre-tax than Alexis Sanchez is at United and who it has been reported is willing to sit out his contract playing golf at Madrid rather than taking a pay cut to leave and play regularly—which he wouldn’t at Liverpool.
Even if Madrid subsidizes a move with a multi-year loan deal that saw them retain significant wages—and even retaining two-thirds of Bale’s would mean some other club paying around £200k per week—it’s hard to see Gareth Bale circa 2019 on the Reds.
It’s nearly as hard to see today’s Bale back at Spurs, Inda’s other proposed destination—with Christian Eriksen said to be heading the other way to make it even less appealing to them—but at least that’s a proposed move with a bit of history propping it up.
Bale, one imagines, won’t be at Madrid next season. He might end up at United if they can manage to clear Alexis’ inflated wages off their books. The idea of him somehow ending up at Liverpool, on the other hand, is well beyond ridiculous.
His arrival, no matter who was paying how much and no matter that on his day he can still contribute—albeit not to past levels—would break Liverpool’s wage structure. One only has to look to United with Alexis to see the potential danger in that.
With those wages, and with a desire to play a more significant role than at Madrid, he would end up nothing but a headache for Liverpool. Which is why, at least outside the transfer dreams of one Spanish pundit, he won’t be joining them.