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Man Utd or Tottenham could be better for Bale - Van der Vaart

5:01 PM WAT 28/02/2019
Gareth Bale Real Madrid 2018-19
The former Blancos star who once played alongside the Welshman at Spurs concedes that Premier League life would be easier than that in La Liga

With questions being asked of Gareth Bale’s future at Real Madrid, former team-mate Rafael van der Vaart believes a return to England at either Tottenham or Manchester United may be the best choice.

The Wales international is approaching the end of a sixth season in Spain, during which time he has won four Champions League crowns, the Liga title and plundered over 100 goals.

He has, however, struggled for form and fitness at times and currently finds himself being asked to play an impact role by Santiago Solari from off the bench.

Any talk of Bale being unsettled has been played down by his agent, but the 29-year-old has faced accusations of ostracising himself and recently shrugged off club colleagues when celebrating.

Life under the brightest of spotlights is nothing new for a man whose move to Madrid broke the world transfer record, but it has been suggested that more familiar surroundings would help to rediscover his spark and quash the criticism.

Former Blancos midfielder Van der Vaart, who played alongside Bale at Spurs between 2010 and 2012, buys into that way of thinking, telling Cadena Ser: “I am a little surprised at what is happening at Real Madrid with Gareth Bale.

“He is a very good player, he is not Cristiano [Ronaldo] or [Lionel] Messi, he is not a regular, he always plays well and there is more pressure than at Tottenham. I think that's a problem for him.

“Going to succeed in another place? It may be best but I think he wants to stay at Real Madrid and play more.

“But a team like United or a return to Tottenham could be better for him because people in England are different to those in Spain.”

Bale remains under contract in Madrid until 2022, but has seen a move elsewhere mooted in many of the recent transfer windows.

It could be that the next is the one which takes him to pastures new, be that in the Premier League or elsewhere.

Van der Vaart feels a change may be beneficial for a man who has always favoured the quiet life and has struggled to adapt fully to life in Spain as a result.

The Dutchman added: “Bale is a very calm player, he wants to be alone, he does not have much contact with his team-mates.

“It is important, though, to speak Spanish in Spain and I think that he is a bit lonely inside the team.

“When he plays well nothing happens, but if he plays badly then you have problems.”