The rumour mill over Gareth Bale's future is set to move into full swing again next month when the transfer window reopens, with Tottenham the new favourites to land the Real Madrid attacker.
Bale's future at Real has been the subject of speculation for some time with the Wales international almost moving to China last summer only for the deal to be called off by Real at the eleventh hour.
The 30-year-old has enjoyed massive success since joining Real from Tottenham in the summer of 2013 for a then world record fee of £86million, but the problem for Bale has been that he has never won over the demanding Los Merengues fans.
Bale has not endeared himself to those Real fans recently following Wales' qualification for Euro 2020 by posing with a Wales flag which read: "Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order."
The controversial stunt has further upset Real fans and the club's hierarchy and it could pave the way for a departure for Bale in January.
A Fractured Relationship
Bale has been jeered by Real fans and a strained relationship with coach Zinedine Zidane seems a parting of the ways is almost inevitable.
Tottenham have emerged as the new favourites to be Bale's next club at 2/1 with Betfair and Paddy Power with the arrival of Jose Mourinho as the club's new manager fuelling speculation that Bale could return to North London.
Mourinho is understood to be a big admirer of Bale having tried to sign the Welshman during his time as Manchester United manager and he is expected to make major changes to the Spurs squad after taking over from Mauricio Pochettino, coincidentally the current favourite to be next Man Utd manager.
A move to any Chinese club is second favourite in Bale's possible next destination at 3/1 after going so close to moving to Asia in the summer.
Jiangsu Suning were hours away from signing Bale before Real called the transfer off and Chinese Super League clubs are among the very few clubs who could afford the financial package to sign him.
United Outsiders For Bale Signature
Manchester United, who were odds-on favourites to sign Bale at one point last summer, have drifted out to 14/1 to bring the winger back to the Premier League with the Old Trafford outfit appearing to go in a new direction of signing young players with potential under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United are also struggling to finish in the top four this season and qualify for next season's Champions League and it's unlikely Bale would consider joining a club not playing in Europe's premier competition.
German champions Bayern Munich, French giants Paris Saint Germain and Serie A leaders Inter Milan are all rated as 33/1 shots to be Bale's next club with reigning Premier League champions Manchester City rank outsiders at 40/1.
Indeed, former Manchester United and England defender Paul Parker cannot envisage a move to Old Trafford for Bale due to his style of play and longstanding injury problems and doubts the player will even leave Real in the next two transfer windows.
“The first problem with Gareth Bale is that he gets injured too often, the second problem is that he clearly wants to stay in Spain,” Parker told Bookmakers.co.uk.
‘Bale is Stubborn’
“Him and his agent have been quite clear that he doesn’t want to leave and he’s already proven that he won’t be forced out, he’s stubborn and I can’t see him going this January or even next summer.
“And even if he was going to come back, where would he play? I don’t see him as a wide player anymore. He moves around, floats around, his game has really opened up.
“He would want to play off a front man, and United don’t have that front man yet. If he came in and played off Anthony Martial, then you’ve got two players trying to do the same job.
“It’s very difficult to see how that move works. United need stability, a player they can count on, and as good as Bale is, you just can’t count on him being fit and ready."
United host Bale’s former club Tottenham at Old Trafford on Wednesday, with both sides struggling to make this season’s top four at 10/1 and 9/5 respectively.