Reports have claimed that Real Madrid has already shortlisted five players to replace Welsh superstar Gareth Bale at the Santiago Bernabeu next season.
Bale joined the Galactico’s in 2013 for a then world record fee from Tottenham Hotspur and aided the Spanish giants to three Champions League titles, one La Liga and one Copa Del Rey ever since. But recent injuries, fitness issues and the drop in form have put the 28-year old’s first team spot in jeopardy.
The La Liga champions face Espanyol tonight but with little hopes of defending their League title after falling 14 points behind fierce rivals Barcelona, who are in pole position. And as things stand, the Los Blancos are preparing a mass exodus of players in the summer to be replaced with Gareth Bale surprisingly at the top of that unwanted list.
Five Players That Could Replace Gareth Bale at Real Madrid:-
The Chelsea winger has been the standout player for Antonio Conte’s Blues this season and has been stalling a contract extension for a move to the European champions. Having arrived at Chelsea from French side Lille in 2012, Hazard has been impeccable for the Stamford Bridge unit helping them to win two Premier League titles and a League Cup including the UEFA Super Cup in his first season.
In 286 appearances for the Premier League champions Hazard has scored 87 goals and notched up 73 assists in all competitions during his five and a half year stint so far. The 27 year old Belgian is probably in the form of his life and wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to play at Madrid.
The World Cup in the summer could be a platform for Hazard to show Real Madrid of his elusive qualities as he is also the go-to-man with Belgium.
In a surprising move from Paris Saint Germain, Brazilian attacker Neymar could move back to the La Liga to replace Bale. Neymar has been highly impressive in the Ligue 1 and reportedly wants a new challenge. But one considerable factor that is keeping the 26-year old from joining Real Madrid is the fact that he has played for their fierce rivals Barcelona.
The Brazilian was a part of an incredible trio for four seasons at the Camp Nou, winning the Champions League, two La Liga titles and three Copa Del Rey’s. But there is no denying Neymar’s quality on the football pitch and his ability to get past players, he has scored as many goals in 29 appearances for PSG this season notched up 17 assists already in a stellar debut season.
The Atletico Madrid star man is reportedly pushing for a move away from Madrid but is linked with local neighbors Real Madrid. Griezmann has been wanted by a host of top European clubs but has been stuck in a dilemma so far with uncertainties in his future.
The 26-year-old arrived at the Vincente Calderon from Real Sociedad in 2014 and has taken his game to the next level with under Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid. Griezmann has scored 99 goals for Atletico and has 35 assists to his name in 192 appearances for the Spanish capital.
He has been Atleti’s talisman helping them to two European Cup finals, unable to go the extra mile and lift the trophy. the French forward wants to win more trophies and is hoping that he can achieve that across the city. The 26-year-old also helped his national team reach the finals of the EURO 2016 but failed to lift the trophy in his own backyard.
Salah has lit up Anfield this season with 31 goals across all competitions for Liverpool. The 25-year-old has been frightening for opposing defenders with his pace and skill. Chelsea will be kicking themselves for allowing such a talent to leave the club as Salah has gone on to become one of the world’s best at the moment.
He is on red-hot form for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool since his move from Serie A side AS Roma in the summer The Egyptian has attracted interest from Real Madrid but the Reds will be reluctant to let go of their new superstar.
Salah helped Egypt qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1990 as his two goals in the decisive fixture against Congo, he was also the top scorer for his county in the qualifiers and will be looking to make a bigger name for himself in the World Cup 2018.
The 21-year-old Portuguese starlet has been on loan at Valencia and Cristiano Ronaldo has identified Guedes to become Bale’s successor at Madrid. Guedes has helped Valencia to 4th in the La Liga table after his loan move from Paris Saint Germain in the summer. The Parisians splashed out €30 million for Guedes’ services back in January of 2017 and he arrived with a big hype from Benfica.
However, the Ligue 1 side could not offer him too much playing time, especially with the arrival of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe and thus sent him on loan to Valencia. Guedes has been at his very best this season and in 24 appearances he has provided six assists and netted six times already in a successful spell with Valencia.
At such a young age, the 21-year-old Goncalo Guedes has already represented Portugal and is a serious candidate for the World Cup 2018, especially if he continues performing well for Valencia.
I think the closest Real Madrid could get to sign one of these five players would be Eden Hazard; the Belgian would fit in well at Real Madrid and seems to be the best fit for Bale’s replacement. However, Bale is still a world-class player and on his day can be unplayable; it will be an interesting summer to check out what choices Madrid will make.
All these players are on the verge of reaching their full potential and the European winners have a tough choice in deciding which one of them would become a Galactico.