The Welshman's season on loan back at Tottenham was only a moderate success, and it seems he's rather burned his bridges at Real Madrid, so what will be the wing wizard's next move?
At the end of last season, Bale was cryptic about his future plans: "It will happen after the Euros... I know what I'm doing, [but] it will just cause chaos if I say anything."
The end for Bale's Euros duly came after Wales' 4-0 defeat to Denmark.
When asked if he had played his last game for Wales, Bale cut short the interview.
He later told S4C: "I want to continue to play. People ask stupid questions all the time, but obviously I love playing for Wales.
"I'll play for Wales until the day that I stop playing football."
However, his actions and subsequent comments have only served to fuel the speculation regarding his future.
Many of Europe's biggest clubs are reportedly ready to pounce, but there are also rumours his professional life could be about to take a radical new course... Planet Sport looks at Bale's options.
A return home would seem a fairy-tale ending to the career of one of Wales' greatest ever players - and Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan's reported net worth of $1.6billion could help make it happen.
In pure soccer terms, Cardiff offers Bale the opportunity to link up with Wales team-mate Kieffer Moore, but one suspects that coming back to his home town is the factor which holds the greatest appeal.
A switch to the Welsh capital certainly has the bookmakers spooked as odds have been slashed from 20/1 to 7/4.
Having said that, the thought of a midweek trip to Barnsley in mid-winter while being shouted at by Mick McCarthy might be enough to put the multi-millionaire off such a move.
Staying at Tottenham
Bale announcing an extension of his spell at Spurs would hardly live up to the billing of "causing chaos," but odds of remaining in north London are now starting to drift with the bookies.
Bale spent six glittering years at White Hart Lane earlier in his career, the undoubted highlight being his astonishing hat-trick at Inter Milan in the Champions League. Upon returning from Madrid for last season's loan spell, he barely featured before Christmas, but found something like his old fluency and threat as the season neared its end.
However, with new boss Nuno Espirito Santo at the helm, the club failing to qualify for Europe and Harry Kane likely to leave, the question is not whether Spurs want to keep Bale, but why Bale would want to stay?
Another stumble in the latter stages of the Champions League perhaps took PSG's eyes off Ligue 1 as they surrendered the title in amazing fashion to Lille by a single point.
What impact will these near misses have on player recruitment for next season? In the attacking midfield areas they seem well stocked (although hardly flush with youth) with Neymar, Angel Di Maria, Julian Draxler, Rafinha and Pablo Sarabia all likely to keep Bale out of the side.
Would a 31-year-old Bale add much to this attack? It doesn't seem a likely union, and coach Mauricio Pochettino being linked with a return to the Premier League adds an element of uncertainty that might perhaps put the Welshman off a move to the French capital.
A move to Stamford Bridge would seem to make a bit more sense.
Chelsea are a little light in attacking areas compared to some of their nearest rivals and their Premier League goal tally of 58 last season was the lowest in the top seven.
Neither Timo Werner or Kai Havertz lived up to their big-money price tags in their first seasons in England (if you conveniently ignore the fact Havertz scored the winner in the Champions League final!) so Bale may add competition in those areas.
Remaining in London may suit Bale personally and he may fancy linking up with a British-born midfield pack of Ross Barkley, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Rumours of a transfer to Manchester United became intense a couple of years ago when the Wales squad (including Bale) waved the now-infamous 'WALES, GOLF, MADRID - IN THAT ORDER' flag after sealing qualification for Euro 2012.
Real Madrid were not amused by the statement and United were reported to be keen on taking the unsettled winger off their hands.
Now, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are again on the list of clubs said to be circling around Bale as he prepares for a glorious career swansong and potentially a final big payday.
The vacancy for an attacking midfielder was filled by Jadon Sancho, who has agreed a £73million switch from Borussia Dortmund. So chances of Bale moving to Old Trafford also appear to be slipping away.
For the first time in 10 years, Juventus failed to win the Serie A title last season, finishing fourth and exiting the Champions League to Porto.
Andrea Pirlo has been replaced by the returning Massimiliano Allegri and Cristiano Ronaldo's future intentions are unknown.
Whether Bale will fancy plunging into a club which is clearly in a transition period would seem doubtful - were it not for the presence of a certain Aaron Ramsey on the Bianconeri's books.
As they've shown at Euro 2020, particularly in the win over Turkey, the Wales midfield pair link up brilliantly.
Recreating that international partnership at club level may just prove a tempting project for the 31-year-old.
New Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann, who has arrived from RB Leipzig, will want to refresh a squad that relied too heavily on Robert Lewandowski's goals last season (he scored a frankly absurd 48 in all competitions).
Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman, Leroy Sane and Douglas Costa would all stand in Bale's way in attacking areas but Bale would add squad depth and significant Champions League experience if Bayern were to come calling.
Would Bayern be willing to come close to Bale's reported £500,000 per week Real Madrid wages? That may be the biggest hurdle, but a club of Bayern's stature would definitely be tempting.
On the other hand, a switch to David Beckham's franchise in the sun-kissed state of Florida (with its many gorgeous verdant golf courses) looks like a hugely tempting prospect.
None other than Gonzalo Higuain plays up front for Inter Miami and former Stoke City hardman Ryan Shawcross patrols their defence. But it's the glamorous lifestyle and the league's increasing status and wealth that would be the most important factors in tempting Bale to the Sunshine State.
Bale himself dropped a clear hint about a move across the Atlantic when speaking to an MLS podcast just over a year ago, saying this of the American league:
"I think it's a league that's on the up and still rising. I think a lot more players want to come over to America now and play. I'd definitely be interested in it."
The golf course
If the infamous Welsh flag is to be believed, golf comes second in Bale's list of priorities, after playing soccer for his country.
It's well known (and the source of irritation in the Bernabeu boardroom) that Bale spent much time on the golf course during his long injury lay-offs and the periods when Zinedine Zidane had frozen him out of the first team.
Bale has even had golf holes, such as the infamous 17th at Sawgrass, recreated in his back garden.
Is Bale good enough to focus his attentions on turning pro?
Another former jet-heeled winger, Lee Sharpe, has just got his Senior Tour card after several years of toil, while ex-Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard also made a (failed) attempt at deriving a living from golf.
Bale's handicap is reported to be three or four so he's yet to achieve scratch status.
However, that might come without the distraction of having to play soccer.
Does the prospect of playing at The Belfry, Royal Troon or St Andrews every weekend hold more appeal than Manchester United, Chelsea or Juventus?
We'll soon find out.