The Welsh winger has won four Champions League titles in six seasons since joining Real in what was then a €100m world record transfer back in 2013, but has seemingly reached the end of the road in the Spanish capital after coach Zinedine Zidane claimed exit talks were ongoing.
The French coach described Bale as very close to leaving in a recent press conference, saying: "We hope he leaves soon. It would be best for everyone. We are working on his transfer to a new team. I have nothing personal against him, but there comes a time where things are done because they must be done."
Talk of a shock move to China has gathered pace as a result - with Bales agent Jonathan Barnett, who is said to be flying to Asia to sort out his future, labelling Zidane a disgrace, although it is unclear whether his issue was with the content of the comments or simply their public nature.
Beijing Guoan and Jiangsu Suning have been tipped as potential destinations - The Sun reporting that the former are prepared to offer £1m-per-week wages in order to bring him to the Chinese Super League; an offer which would make him the best paid player in the world.
The Telegraph also report that Bale is of serious interest to Beijing - also noting that Cedric Bakambu, signed from La Liga club Villarreal for €40m in 2018, is represented by Jonathan Barnetts Stellar Group, suggesting the agent, or at least his company, already have strong ties with the club from the Chinese capital.
The latter have gone one step further in stoking the rumour fire, however, by following Bale on Instagram - which has, as you can imagine, not gone unnoticed in social media circles. Whilst there is no factual evidence to suggest Jiangsu are interested, the Telegraphs report did claim that Beijing are not the only club interested in Bale - make of that what you will.
Links with Manchester United have been impossible to escape too, with Bale famously a target for the Old Trafford club for many years. However, he doesnt fit the profile of players United have predominantly been pursuing - developing younger talents - although the Old Trafford club might still have made an approach for Bale in different circumstances.
90min understands that United would have been prepared to gamble on Bale but for the fact there are no guarantees they will be able to get rid of Alexis Sanchez this summer. There would be too much risk associated with offering Bale a deal and failing to cut Sanchez from the wage bill.
That leaves one other potential escape route for Bale - with Antonio Contes Inter. The Nerazzurri have been credited with an interest for a number of months, and Gazzetta dello Sport (via Football Italia) now claim the club are in talks with Real Madrid over a potential deal.
It is reported that the Inter hierarchy are keen to present former Chelsea coach Conte with a marquee signing, despite their struggles to get a deal for Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku over the line.
Inter dont wish to pay Manchester Uniteds £75m asking price. That issue, along with Bales extortionate wages, would suggest a move to Italy is the least likely option for the Welshman.
The mere notion of it, however, does tie in nicely with this bizarre story - which in essence has seen one of the best wingers in the world hounded out of Real Madrid after never truly being accepted.