Gareth Bale's proposed move to China could be one step closer to happening - if the Instagram activity of
The French coach described Bale as 'very close' to leaving in a recent press conference, saying: "We hope he leaves soon. It would be best for everyone. We are working on his transfer to a new team. I have nothing personal against him, but there comes a time where things are done because they must be done."
Talk of a shock move to China has gathered pace as a result - with Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett, who is said to be flying to Asia to sort out his future, labelling Zidane 'a
The Telegraph also report that Bale is of serious interest to Beijing - also noting that Cedric Bakambu, signed from La Liga club Villarreal for €40m in 2018, is represented by Jonathan Barnett's Stellar Group, suggesting the agent, or at least his company, already have strong ties with the club from the Chinese capital.
The latter have gone one step further in stoking the rumour fire, however, by following Bale on Instagram - which has, as you can imagine, not gone unnoticed in social media circles.
Links with Manchester United have been impossible to escape too, with Bale famously a target for the Old Trafford club for many years. However, he doesn't fit the profile of players United have predominantly been pursuing - developing younger talents - although the Old Trafford club might still have made an approach for Bale in different circumstances.
90min understands that United would have been prepared to gamble on Bale but for the fact there are no guarantees they will be able to get rid of Alexis Sanchez this summer. There would be too much risk associated with offering Bale a deal and failing to cut Sanchez from the wage bill.
That leaves one other potential escape route for Bale - with Antonio Conte's Inter. The Nerazzurri have been credited with an interest for a number of months, and Gazzetta dello Sport (via Football Italia) now claim the club are 'in talks' with Real Madrid over a potential deal.
It is reported that the Inter hierarchy are keen to present former Chelsea coach Conte with a marquee signing, despite their struggles to get a deal for Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku over the line.
Inter don't wish to pay Manchester United's £75m asking price. That issue, along with Bale's extortionate wages, would suggest a move to Italy is the least likely option for the Welshman.
The mere notion of it, however, does tie in nicely with this bizarre story - which in essence has seen one of the best wingers in the world hounded out of Real Madrid after never truly being accepted.