Gareth Bale looks set to remain at Real Madrid after a deal with Chinese club Jiangsu Suning that would have seen him earn £1m per week fell through.
The Wales international, who joined the La Liga giants from Tottenham in a then-world record transfer of £85m, had been expected to sign a three-year deal in the Far East after current manager Zinedine Zidane made it clear he was not part of his plans.
Last week, the Frenchman said Bale was “very close to leaving” after six years in the Spanish capital, during which he won four Champions League titles.
Despite his impressive achievements, which included memorable goals in European finals against Liverpool and Atletico Madrid, Zidane has been keen to move him on – partly because of his rotten injury record.
Bale has made just 79 league starts for Madrid in the last four seasons, and has reportedly struggled to learn Spanish and fit in with his teammates since he joined.
The 30-year-old was booed by his own supporters at times during last season, and was left out of the Madrid squad for their pre-season friendly against Bayern Munich.
Bale has regularly been linked with a return to England since making the Bernabeu his home, with Manchester United among the clubs thought to have been interested.
However, he looked all but certain to be moving to China this summer amid reports that he wanted to make a similar impact in the country as David Beckham did when he went to the US.
Like Bale’s proposed move to China, the former England captain raised eyebrows when he left Madrid for LA Galaxy in the summer of 2017, but he made a huge impact in America and has since set up his own club in Miama, Florida.
Inter Miami are due to start playing in the MLS in 2020.