Chief executive Noel Mooney says the Football Association of Wales would be delighted to see Gareth Bale play club football in his home country ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

Wales captain Bale is a free agent after leaving Real Madrid following a trophy-laden nine years in Spain, and has been strongly linked with a return to hometown club Cardiff.

Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett has refused to rule out the possibility of the forward playing in the Sky Bet Championship in the Welsh capital, saying in a recent interview that “what Gareth does next is not about money”.

Wales v Ukraine – FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier – Play Off – Final – Cardiff City StadiumGareth Bale, centre, celebrates World Cup qualification for Wales after Sunday’s play-off final victory over Ukraine (David Davies/PA)

Welsh FA boss Mooney told Sky Sports: “He is a very special talent and we are very lucky that he is from Cymru (Wales), he grew up up the road in Whitchurch in Cardiff.

“His club situation is absolutely up to himself, who he signs for. I hope for him he makes the right decision in lots of ways.

“As long as he’s leading us out in the FIFA World Cup come November we’ll be happy.

“We are here at the Cardiff City Stadium, and the FAW is out at the Vale of Glamorgan, which is not so far.

Noel Mooney File PhotoWelsh FA boss Noel Mooney has spoken about Gareth Bale’s club future (Brian Lawless/PA)

“So from a logistical perspective, and the FAW being selfish about it, if he did come back to this area – or anywhere nearby to be fair – we’d be delighted because we’d see more of him.

“The more we see of Gareth the better. It doesn’t have to be Cardiff City by the way, but if he does come back to this part of the world we’d be very happy.”

Bale has a home close to Cardiff’s training base, and national-team manager Robert Page has said such a move to a familiar facility that Wales also use “ticks all the boxes” and “makes a lot of sense”.

He has also been linked with Newcastle and the MLS in the United States, but the Welshman’s camp have dismissed reports that he could remain in Spain with Madrid-based Getafe.

Angel Torres, the Getafe president, told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser on Wednesday: “I spoke with the player’s agent this morning.

“He has been offered to us. We will consider it. I am going to have to speak to the technical staff.”

Bale made a late substitute appearance on Wednesday as Wales suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Holland in the Nations League.

Wout Weghorst’s stoppage-time header condemned Wales to a first home loss since November 2018, ending a record-breaking run of 19 games.

Wales v Netherlands – UEFA Nations League – Group A4 – Cardiff City StadiumBen Davies (left) was unhappy with Holland’s late Nations League winner against Wales on Wednesday (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Ben Davies, who led Wales with Bale absent from the starting XI, said: “When you arrive at this level and win games like we have we’re going to play against the best teams.

“If you make mistakes these teams will punish you, so it’s a big learning curve for our team.

“There’s plenty to learn going forward.”

Holland’s winning goal came just moments after Rhys Norrington-Davies had equalised, Frenkie De Jong evading several challenges to set up one final Dutch attack.

Wales v Netherlands – UEFA Nations League – Group A4 – Cardiff City StadiumFrenkie De Jong (right) sets up Holland’s late Nations League winner against Wales (David Davies/PA)

Davies said: “It’s the end of the game when he’s going through. We need to bring him down. Simple as that.

“Stop the attack there. Take a yellow and move on. That happens in football and you’ve got to learn from that.

“It was a shame we didn’t stick on for the draw.

“It’s very disappointing because we got back into the game and threw it away at the end. “It was a good goal, but we had chances to stop it.”