Former Tottenham winger Gareth Bale could decide to retire from football this summer if Wales fail to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, according to The Athletic.
Bale, 32, has made just three appearances for Real Madrid this term, with much of his season being hampered by injuries.
He has also entered the final six months of his deal at the Bernabeu and reports claim there are no plans for either the club or the player to extend beyond the current campaign.
As such, it means Bale would become a free agent this summer, but his future plans reportedly hinge on Wales’ hopes of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup at the end of the year.
Rob Page’s side are currently in the play-offs and are due to face Austria at home in the semi-final and, if successful, will play either Scotland or Ukraine for a spot in the finals.
However, The Athletic report that if Wales fail to qualify for Qatar, Bale could consider retiring with the conclusion of his contract with Madrid.
The report claims the Welshman has earned enough from his stellar career, which has yielded four Champions League titles, to consider hanging up his boots.
But if Wales are successful in qualifying, it is stated that Bale could look to sign a short-term deal at a club unlikely to be at the top level, with the view to prepare for the tournament in December.
Bale spent last season on loan at Tottenham, scoring 16 goals in 34 appearances in his shock return to the club.
Spurs Web Opinion
Bale is caught in a bid of an awkward spot due to the World Cup being in the middle of next season. If Wales do qualify then he will no doubt attract plenty of interest from sides across Europe – especially if the importance of how much he earns goes out the window.
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