Vincent Tan hopeful Gareth Bale 'will come and play for Cardiff' in 12 months' time

Bale, 32, confirmed the next chapter in his career would take him to Major League Soccer side Los Angeles FC after nine trophy-laden years at Real Madrid

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Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan remains hopeful that he can lure Gareth Bale to his hometown club next year after revealing how close he came to signing for the Bluebirds before moving to Los Angeles FC.

On Saturday, Bale, 32, confirmed the next chapter in his career would take him to Major League Soccer side Los Angeles FC after nine trophy-laden years at Real Madrid.

The Wales forward held talks with Cardiff about joining the Championship club for the 2022/23 season before agreeing terms on a 12-month deal at LAFC.

Despite the setback Tam believes Bale can be persuaded to join his hometown club at the end of his LAFC deal, although it is understood the former Tottenham player has an option to extend the agreement for a further year.

Tan told talkSPORT radio: “His contract is for 12 months, let’s see what happens. Maybe Gareth, by then, will probably want to come back and come home and serve his country, serve Cardiff, his hometown.

“He has never played in Cardiff, he and his family are fans of the club.

“So, hopefully, in 12 months’ time, he is still young, he will only be 34, some players come back and play until they are 40 years old.

“So he has still got a few years he can play and hopefully he will come and play for Cardiff after this [contract with LAFC finishes].”

Playing in the second tier of English football was considered an improbable choice for a five-time Champions League winner who was on a reported salary of £600,000 ($736,370) per week in Spain.

But Bale’s primary focus has been on what serves him best ahead of Wales’ first World Cup since 1958, and Cardiff share their facilities with the Football Association of Wales’ medical staff in the Vale of Glamorgan.

“We were very, very keen, he would have been a big coup for us,” Tan said. “It would have been great for Gareth to play for his hometown, all the Welsh would be very happy if Gareth returned home and played for Cardiff.

“Personally, I think LAFC’s offer was too attractive for him to turn down. But originally he really wanted to come, the money wasn’t the matter.

“We came up with what we thought was a good offer to him, but finally it was very hard to compete when there is a lot of big American advertisers, a lot of commercial deals which were very good for Gareth.

“Initially with Gareth, it wasn’t really the money, he just wanted to help Cardiff and help Wales. That’s why we could negotiate with him.

“He tried his best to join us but eventually I think the offer from LAFC was just too big to turn down. We tried our best but we failed.”

Updated: June 28, 2022, 4:52 AM
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