Gareth Bale raises Cardiff hopes by refusing to rule out second-tier clubs

‘I don’t know if the standard makes too much of a difference’Free agent keen to find a club so he can be fit for Wales in QatarGareth Bale has suggested the status of his next club is unimportant and refused to rule out a move to a team below the top flight. Cardiff City, Bale’s hometown club, are thought to be interested in signing the 32-year-old and are among the options the Wales captain could explore with his family, representatives and international manager, Robert Page, in the coming weeks as he prepares to lead Wales at their first World Cup for 64 years.Bale will become a free agent upon leaving Real Madrid after nine years, during which he won 16 trophies, including five Champions Leagues. Asked directly if Cardiff are among the options for next season, Bale replied: “I can’t really say.” However, he did not seem too concerned about whether the standard at which he plays his domestic football next season will be a prominent factor when he decides his future. “I haven’t really thought too much about that at the moment. It’s something I need to sit down and go through, not just with my family but with the manager here, the physios here that we use, to see what would give me the best chance of being fit come November and December.

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