Bale committed to fresh terms at the Santiago Bernabeu last month that tied him to the club until 2022, at which point he’d be about to turn 33.
The new contract suggests any return to the Premier League – where he made his name with Tottenham before his world record transfer to Real – won’t be for a long time.
Ex-Wales goalkeeper Southall compared the two-time Champions League winner to British footballing icon Beckham, who also played for Real Madrid at his career apex, as he believes Bale is in an enviable position.
“He will only come back if he feels that it is right for him” Southall. “Maybe he will come back as he gets older because the travelling gets to him, but you never know.
“He looks to be settled there and has signed a new deal for a long time, so will he be in the same shape in six years as he is now? You never know. You might see him back in the Premier League, but I think it would be on his own terms.
“I think he’s a bit like Beckham, I think he can probably choose where he wants to go if he keeps producing.”
With Ronaldo turning 32 later this season, there’s been plenty of speculation about what the future of Real Madrid’s attack will look like.
Southall thinks it’s too simplistic to assume when Ronaldo’s no longer at his pinnacle that Bale will step in to fill his shoes as the Spanish club’s main man.
“I think it depends on Real Madrid and what sort of team they build around him. [Cristiano] Ronaldo is coming towards the end and Bale will become the man there,” he added.
“In three years’ time, though, I’m sure there will be another kid on the block ready to produce.
“It will be interesting to see what he develops into later on. He has got a good brain on his shoulders, his attitude is great and I only see him doing well.”