Summer Transfer Prop Bets: Will Gareth Bale Leave Real Madrid?
Now that the European domestic campaigns have concluded, most of the soccer-viewing audience around the world will now shift their focus to Russia for the World Cup, which gets underway in the middle of June. While some of world soccer’s historical powers will be missing the event, we will get the opportunity to see most of the sport’s biggest stars in action fighting for the prestigious trophy.
While the World Cup is undoubtedly the focus of most, there is also the matter of the summer transfer window. There has already been quite a bit of activity since the window opened, most of the big names that may be on the move at some point have not yet officially switched clubs. We know players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are almost locks to stay put, but what about others such as Neymar, Gareth Bale and David De Gea?
Several of the planet’s most prestigious players could be on the move this summer. Where will they wind up?
Neymar, Paris St. Germain (Next Team Odds)
- To Stay at PSG (¼)
- Real Madrid (11/4)
- Manchester United (20/1)
- Manchester City (20/1)
- Bayern Munich (25/1)
- Barcelona (33/1)
Last summer, the Brazilian sensation was without question the biggest star to switch teams. Neymar enjoyed an immensely successful stint with Barcelona, but he reportedly felt overshadowed on a team with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. Because he wanted to be a No. 1 option elsewhere, Neymar essentially forced his way out of Catalonia, and Paris St. Germain were happy to pay the hefty price tag.
Neymar’s first campaign in Paris was cut short by injury, but the Brazilian still dominated the French league when healthy. PSG were unceremoniously dumped from Champions League early once again, but the French giants still steamrolled their way to the Ligue 1 title. Neymar scored 27 goals in all competitions along with 16 assists.
Clearly, Neymar is too good for France. Ligue 1 isn’t among the best leagues in Europe, and a player of his caliber should be playing against better competition. Ligue 1 is a , the Premier League and even the Bundesliga. It sounds as though Neymar is already ready for a new challenge. Going back to Barcelona after burning that bridge isn’t going to happen, especially because the Blaugrana have since replaced him with Brazilian compatriot Philippe Coutinho.
Real Madrid are a team that could make some sense as a destination. Neymar would become even more of a villain in Barca if he were to make the switch to their El Clasico rivals, but Los Blancos are set to undergo some changes this summer. Zinedine Zidane has already resigned, and the 3-time defending Champions League winners are potentially set to unload expensive talent like Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and others. There is good value on Neymar winding up in the Spanish capital at 11/4.
Staying at PSG is the most likely outcome, but the terrifying prospect of the Brazilian joining Manchester City is worth mentioning. Neymar has said that he would like to team up with Pep Guardiola at some point after the 2 barely missed one another at Barcelona. The English champions would (obviously) do well to bolster their squad by signing arguably the world’s second- or third-best player. City is a very intriguing value at 20/1.
Gareth Bale, Real Madrid
- Manchester City (7/2)
- Tottenham Hotspur (4/1)
- Manchester United (4/1)
- PSG (12/1)
- Bayern Munich (20/1)
- Juventus (20/1)
Gareth Bale made the expensive move from England to Spain in the summer of 2013. Real Madrid paid a reported fee nearing €100 million to secure the Welshman’s rights from Tottenham Hotspur, and it’s a move that has proven its worth. Bale has scored 70 times in 126 appearances for the club, and he has helped Los Blancos to 4 Champions League trophies, a Copa Del Rey and a La Liga title during his time in Spain.
Bale bagged a pair of goals, including a world-class bicycle kick, in Los Blancos’ 3-1 triumph over Liverpool in the most recent Champions League Final. At this point, he has nothing left to prove in Spain, and it has been reported that the club is ready to sell him and move on. Most rumors have Bale headed back to England, which makes plenty of sense. Bale wants to be an every-week player, which he wasn’t this past year with Real.
to land his signature, but keep an eye on his old club, Tottenham, at 4/1. Bale has reportedly opened himself to taking a paycut in order to rejoin the North London club, and his representatives are apparently set to meet with Spurs officials some time soon. He would be given the chance to start every week if he returned to Spurs, to be sure. Considering the player may feel he has some unfinished business with his old club, Spurs are my favorite bet on the board for Bale.
City need not be ignored here. With an essentially limitless transfer budget, it’s safe to assume we’ll see the Premier League champs attempt to upgrade what was already a stellar roster this summer. There aren’t many ways to bolster a squad that accrued 100 points and breezed to the English title this past season, but adding Bale would certainly qualify as an upgrade. If a move back to Tottenham doesn’t work out, Bale would surely enjoy a stint with a title hopeful in Manchester City.
David De Gea, Manchester United
- To stay at United (⅕)
- Real Madrid (10/3)
- Any Chinese club (20/1)
- Any French club (20/1)
- Any Italian club (20/1)
- Any German club (20/1)
David De Gea has nearly cemented his status as the best goalkeeper on the planet during his time at Manchester United. The Spaniard was on the verge of a move to Spain a couple of years ago before Real Madrid failed to get the paperwork done in time before the transfer window shut. He has spent the last couple of seasons happy with the Red Devils, but the Spanish giants are once again expected to make the move this summer.
As the odds indicate, De Gea is almost sure to be playing at either the Santiago Bernabeu or Old Trafford next term. There isn’t even a third team with odds to land his signature, so we can focus on whether De Gea will make his highly-anticipated move back to his home country.
Real are reportedly ready to move on from keeper Keylor Navas, and the Spanish powerhouse has additionally been linked with Italian youngster and current Milan keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. Madrid may opt for the more veteran presence between the sticks, and De Gea is already quite a bit more experienced than the young Italian.
The value here is on De Gea moving to Madrid at 10/3, so I think this is a bet worth jumping on while there is still profit potential.
Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City
- To stay at Leicester (⅘)
- Manchester City (1/1)
- Liverpool (16/1)
- Arsenal (33/1)
- Chelsea (33/1)
Riyad Mahrez burst onto the scene a couple of years ago when he helped Leicester to the most improbable title in the history of the sport. He has remained with the Foxes in the 2 seasons since, but the Algerian may finally be ready to move on. He has long been linked with a move away from King Power Stadium, and several of Leicester’s Premier League rivals are primed to swoop in.
Once again, City are listed as the heavy favorites to land Mahrez. Guardiola was reportedly sniffing around on the winger back during the January window, but ultimately decided against making an offer. Mahrez sparred with the Foxes’ management due to , but nothing came of it.
The player reportedly told his club’s brass that he wanted to leave for Roma last summer, but the Italian club failed to meet Leicester’s asking price. Barcelona and Arsenal have also been previously linked with Mahrez, and Liverpool are looking to upgrade what was already a vaunted attack.
City won’t sign all of these players, and there is not much value in betting on Mahrez landing in Manchester at even odds. Liverpool may renew their interest if some of their other preferred targets don’t pan out, while Arsenal make plenty of sense, as well. I’ll rank the Gunners as my top bet at 33/1, followed by Liverpool at 16/1.
Alisson Becker, Roma
- To stay at Roma (⅘)
- Real Madrid (4/1)
- Liverpool (7/1)
- Chelsea (4/1)
- Juventus (14/1)
- Manchester United (14/1)
Roma made it all the way to the semi-final stage of the Champions League before being knocked out by Liverpool. The Reds have been lacking a stud keeper for quite some time, and, based on Loris Karius’ disastrous Champions League Final performance during which he allowed a pair of howlers, it’s highly likely we see Jurgen Klopp push for a replacement this summer.
Alisson has been the player linked most often with a move to Anfield. The Brazilian keeper is expected to start for his country at the World Cup this summer, and a strong showing in Russia could raise his transfer fee. Roma will not want to give up the young keeper on the cheap, and considering how many top clubs around Europe are looking for a solution in goal, they’ll likely be able to get a good chunk of change for him.
If Real Madrid fail to pry De Gea from Manchester, the next-best option figures to be either Alisson or Donnarumma. Atletico’s Jan Oblak is another potential name to watch. Alisson is expected to cost in the neighborhood of €80 million. There have been rumors that Madrid have already come to an agreement with the keeper, but his .
Liverpool have already been aggressive in the transfer market, and I would expect them to come up with a high-quality goalkeeper at some point. Whether it’s Alisson remains to be seen, but the Brazilian joining Liverpool on 7/1 odds brings nice profit potential. I’ll tab the Reds as the early favorites to land his signature.