Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale open to signing short-term deal with new club ahead of World Cup

Sean Walsh
Bale is nearing the end of his career
Bale is nearing the end of his career / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Gareth Bale is open to signing a short-term deal with a new club which would see him retire following the World Cup, though this is dependant on Wales' qualification.

Bale will leave Real Madrid when his contract expires at the end of this season, bringing an end to a nine-year spell in the Spanish capital.

But the 32-year-old's future hinges on whether Wales qualify for the World Cup. He scored a match-winning brace to advance to a play-off final against either Scotland or Ukraine, which will be contested in June.

The Evening Standard report that Bale will consider retiring this summer should Wales fail to reach Qatar, but if they do secure a place in the finals, then he could sign a six-month deal with a new club to keep himself fit until the tournament kicks off in November.

Bale returned to Tottenham on loan last season to maintain sharpness ahead of Wales' Euro 2020 campaign, scoring 16 goals in 34 games. While he has been linked with another spell at Spurs, the forward is unlikely to make the move back to north London.

Hometown side Cardiff City have also been touted with an interest and could offer Bale the first chance to play club football in his country. The Bluebirds are currently 17th in the Championship and look a safe bet to remain a second-tier club by the time Bale hits the free agent market.

Bale has played just five times for Real Madrid this season in another campaign derailed by injuries, and recently hit back at the Spanish press for their continued harassment of him.