The 29-year old, who joined Los Blancos in 2013, has become a peripheral figure at the Santiago Bernabeau in recent times. He arrived for a world record fee of over $100M euros, and has experienced many highs, but also several lows as well.
He really announced himself to the Madridistas with a fantastic solo goal in the Copa Del Rey final against arch-rivals in 2014, followed by a major contribution in their triumph of the much wanted La Decima in the same year. However, injuries, poor form and his relationship with manager Zinedine Zidane had made his position at the 13 time European champions on thin ice.
Despite those pitfalls and not starting last season’s UEFA Champions league final, he came on, scored a double, including a fantastic overhead kick, that helped the club win and become the European champions for the third time in a row.
It was thought, that with Cristiano Ronaldo leaving for Juventus last summer, that the former Tottenham player would take over the mantel from the Portuguese. However, it has been a season to forget for both him and the club. The club are out of all three competitions and with the return of Zidane as the manager, it is thought that a move away is best for all parties.
Not only has the player fallen out with the manager, but he has been constantly criticised by the Madrid media, fans and even his teammates. The main issues, are seemingly, his failure to learn the Spanish language. This has led to him not properly connecting with his teammates, which has caused a wedge in the dressing room.
It has been reported that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois criticised the player for not attending dinners and other team building events.
According to his agent Jonathan Barnett, the player is happy in the Spanish capital, saying “Gareth is a Real Madrid player and is very happy here”, in a recent interview with TV station Cuatro.
A loan for the player, will get his large wages off the books and allow the club to invest that money in areas of the squad that need improvements. He has been heavily linked with a return to England, with Manchester United the most likely suitors.
This transfer sage could potentially run throughout the summer.