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Gareth Bale pens three-year contract extension with Real Madrid

Real Madrid CF v Legia Warszawa - UEFA Champions League

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 18: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Real Madrid CF and Legia Warszawa at Bernabeu on October 18, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

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Gareth Bale has agreed to a new contract that will keep him under club control through the summer of 2022, Real Madrid announced Sunday morning.

According to reports, the new deal will make Bale the highest paid player in the world, with a base before-tax salary of nearly $800,000 per week, the most ever paid to a single player. The reports state the full length of the contract is worth nearly $183 million.

The Madrid statement stated that the club will hold a press conference on Monday afternoon to discuss the new deal. Bale’s previous contract expired in the summer of 2019.

Bale joins teammates Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in having signed contract extensions in recent weeks, with the Croatian Modric having signed through the summer of 2020 and Kroos also staying through 2022. Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is also thought to be in discussions about a new long-term deal as well.

It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for the 27-year-old Welshman at the Bernabeu since becoming the world’s most expensive transfer in a move from Tottenham in the summer of 2013, but he has developed into a formidable compliment to the aging Ronaldo.

Each season at the Bernabeu, Bale has had his ups and downs. He scored on debut against Villareal, but went missing in a pair of losses in late March that cost Madrid the league title and was criticized heavily. Madrid won the Champions League that season, with Bale scoring in the final.

The next campaign saw a serious dip in his goal tally, and at times Bale took heavy criticism from both the media and the fans, who booed him from time to time. It was especially tough for Bale during the second half of the season, where he scored just three league goals after January, and was held off the board for the entirety of the Champions League knockout rounds as Real Madrid fell to Juventus in the semifinals.

Bale had his most prolific season yet last year, scoring 19 league goals despite a number of injuries that kept him sidelined for a good third of the season. He was held off the scoresheet the entire Champions League campaign, but assisted the only goal against Manchester City in the semifinals and was a force in the finals as Real Madrid beat rivals Atletico Madrid to hoist the trophy again.

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