Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus are now the next big tale in European football.
Confirmation was given by Real Madrid that the 33-year-old forward would, in fact, join Juventus from the upcoming season.
However, now that the news has been confirmed, big questions will be asked of the players left behind at Real Madrid, and that of Gareth Bale in particular.
The Welshman was the primary individual who appeared exit-bound from even before this window, until Ronaldo’s post-Champions League final remarks trumped Bale’s own and now his transfer will have set another precedent.
Now, a Real Madrid without the Portuguese could certainly mean great things for the former Tottenham star. According to Spanish publication AS, Bale will be present when the Spanish side starts their pre-season next Monday, and a meeting with new gaffer Lopetegui is imminent.
This meeting, however, is believed to be casual in nature and not the tense talks that were anticipated prior to the resignation of Zidane.
The report adds that a previously planned meeting between the club and the player’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, has been canceled. This can be interpreted as a positive thing for his future at the Bernabeu.
However, it still remains to be seen how the new gaffer views Bale in his plans for Madrid. It is clear that he won’t settle for yet another season of playing second fiddle, and may possibly view to replace Ronaldo in the side.
Further, if Madrid decide to go ballistic rather than play it safe and purchase big names like Neymar or Mbappe immediately, then Bale may once again be exit-bound.
This seems unlikely though, and he could certainly function for another season or two with the La Liga giants.
Bad news for earnest Manchester United and Tottenham fans?