Sheffield United could face Gareth Bale next season as Cardiff City eye move for Wales superstar ahead of World Cup following Real Madrid exit

Sheffield United could come up against footballing superstar Gareth Bale next season, after Cardiff City stepped up their ambitious bid to sign the Wales skipper ahead of the World Cup.

Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 3:46 pm

Bale is a free agent after leaving Real Madrid – where he won five Champions League titles after making a world-record move from Tottenham Hotspur – at the end of last season, and is keen to play regular games ahead of this winter’s World Cup in Qatar.

Spurs – for whom Bale scored a hat-trick against United during his loan return to the capital last year – have also been mentioned in the conversation over Bale’s future.

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But the 32-year-old hails from Cardiff and WalesOnline report today that Bale visited Cardiff’s training ground this week, speaking with Bluebirds boss Steve Morison while he did so.

As he prepares to lead Wales into their first World Cup since 1958, Bale’s representatives have been in talks with City officials while their client went on holiday following Wales’ play-off victory over Ukraine.

WalesOnline report that Bale is set to make a decision on his future in the coming days – raising the possibility that United could come up against a fired-up Bale in the Championship next season as he gears up for his first World Cup appearance.

Former Sheffield United defender and current Wales boss Rob Page enjoys Wales' qualification for the 2022 World Cup with star midfielder Gareth Bale - Shaun Botterill/Getty

Wales manager Robert Page, the former Blades defender, has previously said the idea of his captain joining Cardiff "ticks all the boxes" and "makes a lot of sense" and the man himself gave credence to the Cardiff links by admitting the standard he plays at next season may not make much difference.

"It's something I guess I need to sit down and go through," Bale said on his future earlier this month.

"Not just with my family, but with the manager here [Page], with the physios here that we use, to see what would give me the best chance of being fit come November and December.

"I don't really know if the standard makes too much of a difference. A football game is a football game.

"I feel like I'll never really lose my quality on the ball. I guess it's a conversation to be had.

"I need time to think what's the best move for me, my family, my kids, and hopefully we'll sort that over the summer. I have options."

Bale scored 106 times in 258 appearances following his move, adding 67 assists, and won 19 trophies with Real – where he reportedly earned £600,000 a week and has been inducted into the club’s hall of fame.