Gareth Bale: Wales captain's representatives hold talks with Cardiff City

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Sport Wales
Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale won the Champions League five times during his time in Madrid

Cardiff City have held talks with Gareth Bale's representatives as they step up their efforts to sign the out-of-contract Wales captain.

Bale, 32, is available on a free transfer having left Real Madrid.

His representatives have confirmed to BBC Sport Wales that they are in negotiations with Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman.

However, the deal is not yet done and Bale's agents are also "still in talks with lots of other clubs".

Five-time Champions League winner Bale has been linked with a move to a Major League Soccer team in the United States, as well as a return to Tottenham.

As improbable as dropping down to the Championship might seem for a man who joined Real Madrid for a then world-record fee of £85m in 2013, Cardiff are a realistic option.

Bale was born and raised in Cardiff and his primary focus is leading Wales in their first World Cup since 1958 later this year.

Cardiff share a training ground with the Football Association of Wales, which would allow Bale to continue working closely with Wales' medical and fitness staff.

His family still live in the Welsh capital and then there is the theory Bale might be able to be more selective with which games he plays for Cardiff - as opposed to a Premier League team - in preparation for the finals in Qatar.

At Real, Bale earned £600,000 per week, more than the weekly wage bill of Cardiff's entire first-team squad.

But according to those close to the forward, money is not the most important factor with Wales' World Cup campaign, which begins in November, in mind.

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