Gareth Bale is returning to the Spanish capital after a year away on loan to Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League. The Welshman is reportedly planning to play out the remaining year of his contract with Real Madrid before hanging up his boots from club football at the end of the 2021/22 season.

There have been numerous speculations about Bale's future after he endured a miserable season at the Santiago Bernabeu prior to his loan spell. It came as a surprise when he said that he plans to return and play out the remaining year of his contract with the Spanish giants, but the appointment of new manager Carlo Ancelotti may have played a major role in his decision.

Now, it appears as though he is not looking at any other destinations, and will be making his exit from club football in 2022. However, he won't be retiring from the beautiful game immediately after that.

According to The Mirror, Bale fully intends to represent Wales in the 2022 FIFA World Cup if they qualify for the competition. The player has always been vocal about his devotion to the national team, something that had been a point of contention with Real Madrid fans who allege that he has a lack of commitment to the club.

Bale was recently with his national side before they were knocked out of the European Championship. He has been given some summer vacation time, and will be expected to rejoin Los Blancos at Valdebebas in a few weeks. Ancelotti has already started pre-season training with members of the squad who are available, and it remains to be seen how well Bale will reintegrate himself into the squad upon his return.

The winger will see his club contract expire by June 30, 2022, and if it is true that he won't play any club football after that, he will need to find a way to keep his fitness levels up until the World Cup kicks off on November 21, 2022.

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale scored in two Champions League finals for Real Madrid and won the competition four times AFP / Filippo MONTEFORTE