Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale will end his second season at Real without a major trophyGetty Images

Arsenal have been touted as a potential destination for Gareth Bale, should the Wales international choose to leave Real Madrid during the summer.

Bale has endured a difficult second season at the Bernabeu and has often been labelled as a scapegoat by Madrid fans during a season that will end without a major trophy after Barcelona claimed the La Liga title after beating Atletico Madrid.

And such has been the criticism that reports have linked Bale, who joined Madrid for a world-record £85m ($133m) in 2013, with a return to the Premier League with both Chelsea and Manchester United both understood to be interested.

However, ex-Arsenal striker John Hartson sees no reason why his former club should not launch a bid for the 25-year-old given their often unused financial resources.

The Gunners' latest financial figures released in February 2015 indicated they have £138m in cash reserves and Hartson says the club should not hesitate in using this money to make a shock move for Bale.

"If there is £80m there and £250,000-a-week over a five-year contract, that is going to be the best part of £50-60m to cover his contract costs," he told Talksport. "If Arsenal have got £140m-£150m to spare you would have to ask Arsene Wenger that. Are Arsenal the type of club to go and shock the world and go in for Bale? I don't know.

"The thing is, if he becomes available, you know Chelsea are going to go be in and you know Manchester United are going to go in for him. You know that already. Chelsea have got the money and the ambition and Manchester United are showing their ambition right now.

"For Arsenal to get above these teams and go and compete and appease the supporters and to stop them moaning every year, they've got to go and make a stand and go in for Bale because you know Chelsea and Manchester United will if he becomes available."

Does Ronaldo hold the key to Bale's future?

Speculation regarding Bale's future has been swelled by comments made by his agent Jonathan Barnett that suggested Real's players intentionally do not pass to him during matches.

Though victory over Espanyol proved in vain as Barcelona secured the title, Cristiano Ronaldo took another step towards winning the La Liga golden boot with his seventh hat-trick of the season to take his tally to 45 for the campaign.

The world footballer of the year cut a dejected figure during Real's Champions League semi-final exit to Juventus and Paul Merson believes he will dictate where Bale's future lies in the summer and beyond.

"I think Ronaldo will have the final say," he told Sky Sports. "When you watch him he doesn't look like he's having [Bale] one bit at the moment. I think Ronaldo will be the one [to decide].

"I think he's a top drawer player. And the other night against [against Juventus in the Champions League] he never hid. Ronaldo hid. At least [Bale] put himself in positions to get shot down.

"I think he would fit any club in the world. Why not Arsenal? You're getting rid of Theo Walcott, you've got a load of money."