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UEFA ChampionshipWales boss Page: Bale move to Cardiff would 'tick all the boxes'

Wales boss Page: Bale move to Cardiff would ‘tick all the boxes’

Gareth Bale returning to Cardiff to play for his hometown club “ticks all the boxes,” according to Wales boss Robert Page.

Bale’s Real Madrid contract will expire after the season, with only two games left for Los Blancos – a home game against Real Betis on Friday to finish the LaLiga season, followed by the Champions League final against Liverpool on Saturday.

While there has been talking of his retiring if Wales fails to qualify for the World Cup, he will almost certainly need to find a new club if they go past Scotland or Ukraine in the June playoff.

In reaction to rumours of a Bale transfer to Cardiff, Page stated that it “just seems right” but respects his captain’s freedom to make his own decisions after the playoff.

He said:

“It ticks all the boxes.

“Ultimately, it’s Gareth’s decision and Cardiff City’s.

“I think he’s right to say, ‘Let’s throw complete focus on to the fifth [of June]. Let’s get there first and have that discussion.

“We can carry on talking about it and guess, have our opinion, and it does make sense. It makes a lot of sense. He can base himself at a training ground he’s familiar with.”

Since February, Bale hadn’t played in LaLiga when he came on as a substitute late in the second half of Real Madrid’s triumph over Getafe in April.

Since then, he has been hampered by back ailments, with Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti admitting that it has rendered him immobile on occasion.

The 32-year-old was listed in Wales’ 27-man squad for the June window, which included four Nations League matches, although he might join the camp if he is not selected for Madrid’s Champions League final team.

“We will keep in touch with him,” Page said. “It’s common sense that if he is not going to feature at all, and Real Madrid is happy with releasing him, we would like him on camp.

“They don’t have to. We don’t have the players [officially] until the 30th, so we can’t pull rank.

“We have to go with what they suggest. Rightly so because the club employs him, but if there’s an opportunity to get players in earlier, we would like that.”

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