It seems unthinkable. They’re the two most expensive players in footballing history, yet we are hearing constant transfer rumours about them. Many would think that Madrid would be crazy to let go two of their main ‘Galacticos’ leave. But would it be such a bad decision? I’m not so sure.
Firstly, and this point is only applicable in the short term, they are both under performing by their own extremely high standards. The recent boos that have been ringing around the great Bernabeu stadium haven’t come from nowhere. And this isn’t directly down to either of them, as the whole team is looking a shadow of the unstoppable force that we saw at the beginning of the season.
Madrid have played with a slightly more possession based style this season, in a 4-4-2 system that has excelled at times, with Isco looking like the class act that we all know he is. However, this system has been used at the cost of slightly lessening Bale’s impact on each game. With the play all happening closer to the oppositions penalty area, the rocket that is Gareth Bale doesn’t have the space to run into like he did last season. In some ways it lessens Ronaldo’s effectiveness as well, however his superior class has allowed him to adapt his role more towards that of an out-and-out striker.
So in the case of Ronaldo, why would they sell the three time Ballon D’or winner? Well, he has finally hit the grand old age of thirty. Now, of course that doesn’t mean the man’s past his best, but it is important from the view point of the Real hierarchy because he only has maybe 2 or 3 years at his optimum level. The club will be looking at this situation from a financial point of view, more precisely “how long can we hold onto Ronaldo with his value still being at a high level?”. And the answer to this is probably not as long as they’d like. The most expensive player to be sold in his 30’s is Batistuta at around . as I mention in my last article (add link to my last article on player wages), however they will not want to offer him any more than he is on now.
As well as this, there is definitely some tension within the squad in terms of Ronaldo being above the rest. While it’s not a massive problem, it is notable that the ex-United man has some frustrations with Bale, despite the (totally unplanned, of course) welcome that he gave the Welshman upon his arrival. There appears to be a ‘this club isn’t big enough for the both of us’ attitude.
From the point of view of Bale, the man can do great things with the ball. He has the pace, power and ability that makes him one of the best in the world. However, he doesn’t have the same close-control that players such as Isco and Rodriguez have. This is causing a problem because it creates barriers when the team are trying to make short, snappy passes around the box.
Finally, let’s look at his situation from a financial point of view. Bale was bought for £85 million. Earns around £250k per week. If the club could make that money back on him, as well as getting him off the wage bill, it would benefit them greatly in the long run. This is especially true when considering the new aim to make money back on the players they buy. For example, this season they’re net worth is only around £2 million, down to the fees they gained through player sales. This is all part of Madrid’s new ‘sustainable’ approach to spending.
If they could gain their money back on Bale or possibly between £40-60 million for Ronaldo, as well as moving them off the wage bill, it would hugely increase their transfer budget. This then allows for further ‘Galactico’ signings like Pogba, Hazard or Kane (just kidding).
If I were a betting man, I’d predict Bale to leave first, if not this summer then the next one. Mainly due to the fact that he is impeding the clubs vision of playing beautiful, as well as effective, football.
Imagine this: spending £80-85 million on a player, winning a Champions League, making huge revenue through shirt sales, then selling him again for the same price? I’d be laughing.