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Wales coach Page can see Real Madrid attacker Bale joining Cardiff

Wales coach Rob Page can see Real Madrid attacker Gareth Bale joining Cardiff City.

The Welshman's contract with the LaLiga Santander winners and Champions League finalists is up at the end of June, but he has been linked with a move to the English second tier.

"It ticks all the boxes," Page said when asked about the idea of Bale joining Cardiff.

"Ultimately, it's Gareth's decision and Cardiff City's.

"And I think he's right to say 'Let's throw full focus on to June 5' [Wales' World Cup qualification playoff]. Let's get there first and have that discussion.

"We can carry on talking about it and guess and have our opinion on it, and it does make sense. It makes a lot of sense. He can base himself at a training ground he's familiar with.

"Ultimately, let's see what happens on the June 5 and I'll probably be the first one after the game to ask the question."

Cardiff didn't enjoy the best of seasons in 2021/22, finishing 18th in the Championship table. But Page doesn't think that would affect his thinking about Bale, nor should it put the four-time Champions League winner off a move.

"If he was playing for Cardiff and we had qualified for the World Cup I wouldn't change my thoughts or respect for Gareth whatsoever," Page added.

"He would definitely be a part of the World Cup squad anyway. As long as he is out playing football - that's the most important thing for us.

"When he turned up in March, he wasn't playing but he had four, five, six weeks' training under his belt so he had that stamina inside him to give himself the best chance.

"There is nothing like playing games. He won't be match-sharp but he was still able to put a freekick into the top corner and score two goals in a big game for us.

"He will absolutely need to be part of a club and training, even if he is not playing, at that tempo with other players every day."

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