Gareth Bale's main concern is playing regularly before the World Cup

Gareth Bale does not think the standard of football makes ‘much of a difference’ as long as he plays regularly before the World Cup… boosting Cardiff City’s chances of signing the Welsh talisman

  • Gareth Bale is a free agent after ending his nine year stay with Real Madrid 
  • He has been linked with Premier League Newcastle and several sides in the MLS
  • Boyhood club Cardiff City have emerged as a surprise contender for his services
  • But Bale has revealed he is not concerned by the standard of club he plays for

Gareth Bale has boosted Cardiff’s hopes of signing him by suggesting the standard of football he plays before the World Cup does not make ‘too much of a difference’.

Bale is a free agent following the end of his nine-year stay at Real Madrid, and has said that he will resolve his future following his summer break.

The 32-year-old has been linked with Newcastle and several MLS teams ahead of Wales World Cup campaign in Qatar this November, but Cardiff have emerged as surprising suitors, despite playing in the Sky Bet Championship.

Gareth Bale has revealed he is not concerned with the standard of club football he plays

Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett revealed in a recent interview that ‘what Gareth does next is not about money’, while Wales manager Robert Page said the idea of his captain joining Cardiff ‘ticks all the boxes’ and ‘makes a lot of sense’.

Ahead of Wales Nations League clash in Holland, Bale said: ‘It’s something I guess I need to sit down and go through.

‘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.

Championship side Cardiff City have emerged as surprise contenders for Bale’s signature

‘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 made just four starts for Real in his final injury-hit campaign in Madrid.

He has started two of Wales’ four games this month, the World Cup play-off victory over Ukraine and Saturday’s 1-1 Nations League draw against Belgium.

But he did not complete 90 minutes in either match, and he knows the importance of game-time and being fully fit before the World Cup.

Bale and Wales boss Rob Page know it is important for the player to play week in, week out

Bale said: ‘Ideally I would have had more games coming in (to camp) so I would have been even fitter and not had to recover as much as I am at the moment.

‘I’ve been available for quite a lot of the games in Spain, sometimes you just don’t get picked so people assume that you’re injured.

‘It (next step) is going to be massively important. I need to make sure I’m playing games and I’m as fit as possible.

‘Sometimes I’m able to get away with it, but ideally I want to go into a World Cup playing games and being as fit for as long as I can on the pitch.’

Wales produced an impressive performance against Belgium, ranked second in the world, to claim their first top-tier Nations League point on Saturday.

But injuries have hit them hard ahead of their trip to Rotterdam’s Feyenoord Stadium.

Danny Ward, Joe Allen, Joe Morrell and Neco Williams have joined Kieffer Moore on the sidelines, and Rhys Norrington-Davies is suspended as Wales seek revenge for last Wednesday’s 2-1 home defeat to Holland.

Bale plans to decide on his future after taking a break following international duty with Wales

Bale added: ‘It’s been a long camp and the only goal was to qualify for the World Cup.

‘We did that, which was history made. In terms of the Nations League it’s been difficult to prepare for.

‘The first game was pretty much get through it and after that it was mainly trying to recover.

‘There was a lot of mental and physical stress but I guess, with Belgium, it was good to get a point against such a good team.

‘We have a lot of good young players coming through and it’s our responsibility to guide them, to keep that character and togetherness up.’

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