Gareth Bale has been left without his favoured No 11 Real Madrid shirt after returning from his season-long loan at Tottenham this summer.
The 32-year-old Welsh winger wore No 9 during his return to the Premier League with Spurs, with Erik Lamela occupying the No 11 Tottenham shirt at the time.
However, Bale’s time at Tottenham meant that Marco Asensio came swooping in and traded in his No 20 shirt for the No 11 at Madrid.
The Madrid star has only worn the No 11 shirt at Madrid since his then-world-record move from Spurs in 2013.
And now Bale will have limited choice on a new number ahead of his current Madrid deal expiring next summer.
According to Diario AS, the only number available is 16 after Luka Jovic went out on loan to Eintracht Frankfurt last season.
However, Bale could see another number choice open up with the imminent departure of Raphael Varane.
After Varane officially signs for Manchester United, Casemiro, who is presently No 16 at Real Madrid, may assume Varane’s No 5 shirt.
The 29-year-old Brazilian midfielder is presently a member of the Brazil national team, where he wears the number 5 jersey.
Bale and Dani Ceballos, who has been on loan at Arsenal, would have 14 and 16 to select from ahead of the new La Liga season as a result of Casemiro’s number change.
During his tenure with Los Blancos, Bale has won two La Liga championships, four Champions Leagues, and a Copa del Rey.
His relationship with former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane deteriorated, and he was linked with a move to the Chinese Super League before the deal fell through.
Bale’s future in Madrid has been unknown since his return from Tottenham, although he is likely to stay for one more season before departing on a free transfer in 2022.
Prior to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Wales international has been extensively linked with a move to the MLS.
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