Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale is soon set for crunch talks with his new manager Julen Lopetegui. The Welsh international's long term future is very much up in the air at the moment, and a summer departure may well be on the cards.
Bale revealed to the world back in May that he was considering his Bernabeu future. Following a convincing 3-1 Champions League final victory against Liverpool (during which Bale came on as a substitute and scored an incredible brace to give his team the trophy), the 28-year-old admitted in an on-pitch interview that he has to assess his future in the Spanish capital.
Under Zinedine Zidane, Bale was often overlooked for the biggest matches, despite seemingly always impressing when given the opportunity. At that point everyone assumed Bale would simply depart, but Lopetegui's arrival brings hope that he will remain.
According to sources at ESPN, Bale will sit down with his new boss soon in order to discuss where he stands in the new manager's plans. Lopetegui's dismissal as Spain coach has allowed the Spaniard to get to business at club level right away, and Bale's future (along with Cristiano Ronaldo's) is at the top of his list.
Reports in the UK have claimed that Lopetegui's arrival is good news for Bale, stating that he is more likely to stay due to the manager's ability to speak English. However, it is unlikely to be that straight forward.
Lopetegui is a big fan of Spain international Isco - Bale's rival for his spot in the starting XI, which causes doubt for the Welshman.
With that said, it will all be cleared up sooner rather than later, and the likes of Manchester United and Bayern Munich are believed to be monitoring his situation, with a view to step in.