FORMER Wrexham defender Neil Taylor thinks Gareth Bale could still become involved with the Reds - even if he decides not to lace up his boots again.

Bale, a five-time Champions League winner, announced his retirement at the age of 33 in January after leading Wales to their first World Cup finals appearance since 1958.

But after he posted a congratulatory video to Wrexham following the club's National League title and promotion back to the Football League, Reds' co-owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds went to work trying to convince Bale to come and play for Wrexham next season.

Despite all the speculation, Bale has put rumours to bed saying he won't be playing for Wrexham next season.

However Taylor wonders if arguably Wales' greatest footballer of all time would instead consider off-field involvement.

"I think the biggest thing that could probably happen is if he invests in the club or something like that," said Taylor, speaking to BBC Radio Wales Sport

"That might be more realistic in terms of if he's looking for a business opportunity to be involved in a club and, and something like that in Wales as well, which he's passionate about."

Taylor admits he was "pessimistic" about their bid for promotion to League Two after "15 years of hurt".

But the ex-Wales international says Wrexham's rise under Hollywood owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney is "brilliant" for the club and city.

The Dragons are going up following a 3-1 win against Boreham Wood.

"In terms of ownership they've nailed it," said Taylor of actors Reynolds and McElhenney.

"But in terms of for the club, I'm delighted. It got to a point where you felt like it was never going to happen, obviously.

"My years were littered with different owners and different people involved at the football club, for good and bad, to be honest.

"But to see it where it is now - and for everybody in the world to see it - that's what I'm most proud of."

Taylor added: "It's easy when everybody says about their local team 'we've got a sleeping giant here or it used to be', like when you get the grandads around town or down the pub that go 'oh back in the day, we used to get X amount of people down here' and people don't believe you anymore.

"And it was sort of becoming like that for Wrexham a little bit."

Wrexham lost funding for their academy following the club's relegation from the Football League in 2008.

Taylor and former Wales team-mate Danny Ward are among the players to have come through the ranks at Wrexham and the former hopes - and expects - Reynolds and McElhenney will ensure its resurrection.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) have had a national development base at Colliers Park, Wrexham since September 2019.

Taylor hopes aspiring players from north Wales can now be brought into a Wrexham pathway rather than head for clubs in the northwest England.

"Colliers Park for me was my childhood, playing there for five/six years and making my way there as a footballer... the FAW have obviously bought it, looked after it, but now you would hope, obviously, Wrexham are looking for facilities as well and hopefully they take it on to the youth category as well.

"They'll now get granting from the [Football] League to help with the academy and getting it going again, because that's something that really needs help."

Taylor also backs Wrexham's initiatives surrounding women's football with their senior team winning promotion to the Adran Premier after setting a domestic attendance record along the way,

"What's happened with women's football should be an example for anybody in any sport across the world, I think," said Taylor.

He added: "I think it's just been fantastic to watch especially at Wrexham and the emotion around it. And the attendance obviously for that game it was unbelievable. I think it's something to thrive on.

"It's something they're capitalising on, it's going out to the world, which is also a pull for people and for the girls as well.

"So it's growing. It's an avenue of football that wasn't tapped into for a long time and now we are and everybody's seen the benefits of it."