Offer still on the table for Gareth Bale to join Wrexham – Rob McElhenney

Wrexham co-owner Rob McElhenney revealed the “offer is still on the table” to Gareth Bale as he issued his latest plea to lure the former Wales star out of retirement to play for the newly-promoted League One side.

While his efforts to convince Bale to join the Red Dragons have so far come up short, the Hollywood actor said he was willing to provide the 34-year-old all the flexibility he needed to get in any rounds of golf he required.

Bale hung up his boots in January 2023 after a glittering career which saw him win five Champions League titles with Real Madrid and score a record-breaking 41 goals in 111 appearances for Wales, but McElhenney is not giving up hope of seeing the Cardiff-born forward in Wrexham colours.

Rob McElhenney taking part in the ceremonial first pitch before game two of the MLB London Series at the London Stadium
Rob McElhenney taking part in the ceremonial first pitch before game two of the MLB London Series at the London Stadium (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“We’ll let you off for golf, whenever you need to get off. As long as you come to training once or twice a week we can figure out how to get you 10 minutes on the pitch.

“And the golf courses – Wales is amongst the most beautiful countries in the world!”

While it remains to be seen if the ex-Tottenham player can be persuaded to reverse his retirement, signing former Premier League players remains a genuine possibility for McElhenney.

“We’re about to find that out this week. We go to Wrexham very soon and we’re going to sit down and talk about that with (manager) Phil (Parkinson),” said McElhenney, who is optimistic goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo could return next season after being released by Arsenal.

The 22-year-old helped Wrexham claim a second successive promotion last term after joining on a season-long loan from the Gunners, making 36 League Two starts and keeping 13 clean sheets.

McElhenney said: “There’s a very good chance [of signing him]. We’re talking to Arthur actively right now, we know he wants to come back to Wrexham and we definitely want him, so it’s just about working out the right deal that works for everybody.”

Wrexham goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo
Wrexham goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo helped his side win promotion to League One (Barrington Coombs/PA)

He said: “That’s what we’re talking about now in the very short off-season, seeing how we can maybe get it done again next year. We’ll see.

“We just look at it season to season. Our goal is to just field the best club we can on the pitch next year and continue to work with the community to give them what they need and what they’ve been asking for.”

Thanks largely to the popularity of Welcome to Wrexham, the documentary series chronicling both of the club’s first teams, several dates on the Red Dragons’ upcoming North America tour have already sold out.

McElhenney was not prepared to give away too many spoilers about the as-yet unaired finale to the third season, which chronicles the recently concluded campaign, but conceded “I can give away that it’s a happy ending.”

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