Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images
Chelsea are one of three Premier League clubs who have reportedly been given the chance to sign Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale this summer. Los Blancos could use Bale to help seal a deal for Eden Hazard.
Spanish source Diario Gol (h/t James Walters of the Daily Star) said “Real president Florentino Perez has offered the attacker to (Manchester) United, Chelsea and Tottenham.”
Diario Gol revealed Perez is ready to offload Bale, who would prefer a move to United, when this campaign ends. The report also detailed how the plan is “to use Bale in a stunning swap deal to land either David De Gea, Eden Hazard or Harry Kane this summer,” per Walters.
Having a chance to bring Bale back to England’s top flight may be too tempting to pass up for Chelsea, despite the 28-year-old’s length injury history. When fit, the Wales international is still a marquee talent who can thrive against any opposition.
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images
Bale’s pace, aerial prowess and shooting power make him lethal in the final third, both from wide areas and through the middle. Although he’s missed a lot of time since moving to the Spanish capital for a then-world record transfer fee in 2013, Bale has generally delivered when he’s been on the pitch.
He scored a sensational solo goal to beat Real’s bitter rivals Barcelona in the 2014 Copa del Rey final. Later the same year, Bale netted the go-ahead goal to send Los Blancos on their way to a 4-1 win over neighbours Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final.
Bale has stayed prolific during another injury-hit campaign, scoring 10 goals across all competitions, despite making just 17 starts. In fact, the former Tottenham Hotspur star has often made the most of his reduced playing time, with WhoScored.com detailing in January how his strike rate was more efficient than illustrious team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo:
Gareth Bale: Has scored more La Liga goals (5) than Cristiano Ronaldo (4) this season despite playing 678 minutes less action
For all the games he’s missed, Bale still managed to equal a long-established record back in February, per OptaJose:
116 – Gareth Bale will equal David Beckham’s record as the British player with the most La Liga appearances when he plays against Espanyol tonight (116 apps). Dragon. https://t.co/HVr1PPguMu
Bale can still be valuable for any top club, provided his fitness is managed carefully. Chelsea could use some of his star power but not if it means losing Hazard.
The Belgian No. 10 is a classy and versatile forward who adds a flourish to the Blues’ attacking play.
His flair continues to attract admiring glances from the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, with the 27-year-old recently telling Marca‘s Sergio Fernandez (h/t Jonathan Spencer of MailOnline): “In football you never know. I’m happy at Chelsea, and focused on them.”
PAU BARRENA/Getty Images
Landing Bale would soften the blow of losing most players. Yet Chelsea should think twice about trusting an injury-prone star to replace the attacking talisman of their last two title-winning squads.