GARETH BALE has lifted Cardiff’s hopes of a sensational move to home-town club Cardiff after a chance meeting with Steve Morison.
The Wales captain is available on a free transfer when his Real Madrid contract expires later this month.
Bale visited Cardiff’s Vale of Glamorgan training base - which is shared with the Football Association of Wales - Wednesday morning for a physio session on the same day the Championship club returned for pre-season.
And it is understood during his time at the FAW with their medical staff, he also spoke to Bluebirds boss and ex-Wales team-mate Morison.
Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman has been in talks with Bale’s representatives for weeks.
But a deal for the superstar, who is desperate to be in peak condition when he leads Wales in November’s Qatar World Cup, is not done just yet.
Bale, who has ruled out a switch to LaLiga outfit Getafe, teased Cardiff fans during the international break when he was asked directly if the Bluebirds were an option.
He opened the door when he replied: “I can’t really say.”
The forward claimed earlier this month "I’ve got loads" of offers, while his representatives have also stated they are "still in talks with lots of other clubs".
In the meantime, Bale is going on holiday for a second time and is not due to return until next month alongside the other international players.
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The Championship kick-off is on the weekend of July 30 with the fixtures announced today.
The 32-year-old had his first break following Wales’ 3-2 Nations League defeat to Holland in Rotterdam last Tuesday.
Bale is set to make up his mind on his future imminently.
The ex-Southampton and Tottenham star, who has been linked with a return to the Premier League as well as America’s MLS, claims the standard of football is not a key factor in his decision.
Bale’s free-kick was turned into his own net by Andriy Yarmolenko to seal a play-off victory over war-torn Ukraine on June 5.
Qualification was worth almost £10m in prize money to Wales with the pot being shared on operations and players’ bonuses.
But the FAW have announced they will reinvest a vast sum to inspire the next generation.
Bale said: “We are delighted that qualifying for the World Cup finals also means grassroots clubs across Wales will benefit as the FAW support the development of inspirational, fit-for-purpose facilities.”
Wales enter a new era after Ryan Giggs officially quit as manager on Monday with Robert Page, who has been interim boss since Giggs’ arrest in November 2020, set to lead them in Qatar.