GARETH BALE could announce his retirement from football in 2022, according to a report by Spanish outlet AS.

The 31-year-old has spent the 2020-21 campaign on loan at Tottenham Hotspur, scoring 14 times and registering three assists in 33 appearances for the English club in all competitions.

Bale has scored 105 goals and registered 68 assists in 251 appearances for his parent club but has a difficult relationship with Zinedine Zidane, who could stand down as Real Madrid boss this summer.

The Welshman started his professional career at Southampton in 2006 before joining Spurs, where he spent six years ahead of a switch to the Bernabeu.

Bale is not thought to be in the plans of Real Madrid, but he has a contract with the Spanish champions until next June and is said to be keen on a return to Los Blancos this summer.

Bale has enjoyed a wonderful career in England and Spain. He emerged as one of the finest players in the world at Tottenham Hotspur, twice winning the PFA Player of the Year award, before making a then-world record £85 million move to Real Madrid.

Gareth Bale’s loan spell at Tottenham Hotspur for the 2020/21 season turned out to be pretty successful.

Despite being condemned to the bench by both Jose Mourinho and Ryan Mason for much of the campaign, the Welshman finished with some very impressive figures to his name.

The lightning-quick forward is looking to strike a deal with Real Madrid that would see him receive a partial payout and have his contract terminated a year early.

It’s reported that Bale will ask the Spanish club for half of his £13 million salary.

If the report from the Spanish publication proves to be true and Euro 2020 is the last time we see Bale on a football pitch, it will be a real shame.

It is, of course, easy to think that won’t be the case, but the man himself did state after Spurs’ 4-2 victory over Leicester City last Sunday that the next step in his career will be one that causes “chaos”.

“It’ll just have to be… it will have to happen after the Euros,” Bale told Sky Sports after the Premier League encounter at the King Power Stadium.

“I know what I’m doing, but it’ll just cause chaos if I say anything.”

Maybe 2020/21 really was a swan song for one of the finest footballers of modern times…