It seems to have been a perennial rumour of recent transfer windows, Gareth Bale leaving Real Madrid to join Manchester United. It never seems to go away.
Well, here we go again, as according to the Daily Star, United are set to make another bid for the Welshman again this summer. However, reportedly Bale is waiting to see who will replace the outgoing boss Zinedine Zidane before deciding his future.
Mixed fortunes at the Bernabeu
When Bale joined Real Madrid in 2013 from Tottenham for a world-record fee, the Welshman should have pushed on and become one of the best players in the world.
Bale heading to the Spanish capital after the best season of his career at White Hart Lane. The 28-year-old was regarded as the next Galactico to grace the Santiago Bernabeu.
However, in truth, injuries and lack of consistency have hampered his career in the Spanish capital. This season has almost been a typical one for Bale, as he struggled in the earlier part of the campaign, only to make a positive impact in the second half of the season, culminating in a brace against Liverpool in the Champions League final.
The fact he had to come off the bench to make that impact in the 3-1 win illustrates perfectly that his time Madrid has not been all been positive. Bale has never stated that he is unhappy at Real Madrid. However, he has recently stated that he needs to be playing week in and week out.
A long-term United target
Manchester United were reportedly vying with Real Madrid to sign Bale back in 2013. However, the Wales international headed to Madrid instead of Manchester. Whether it was a straight choice between the two clubs is unclear. Both clubs are giants of the European game, though.
The rumour of Bale joining the Red Devils and United being their main suitor if he did return to the Premier League persists. United boss Jose Mourinho is reportedly a fan of Bale, so maybe that is why the link persists.
The Star’s report claims that Real Madrid are willing to part company with Bale for a fee in the region of £88million, just slightly more than they paid Tottenham for the forward five years ago.
By today’s crazy inflated transfer fees, it is not an unrealistic amount of money. A number of United’s forward players are being linked with an exit from Old Trafford this summer, including highly-rated French forward Anthony Martial and even England international Marcus Rashford.
It seems unlikely that both will leave, though, with Martial looking more likely to exit Old Trafford in search of regular first-team football.
Manchester United favourites to sign Bale
Manchester United are clear favourites to sign Welshman, as the Bale is odds of 11/4 to be a Red Devils player when the summer transfer window closes in August.
We have been in this position nearly every summer since Bale joined Real Madrid. Whether the move finally happens will depend on a number of factors, most importantly the player himself. The fact that he is waiting to see who succeeds Zidane suggests that he is happy in the Spanish capital. If he plays every week then the Welshman is likely to stay at Real Madrid.
Bale would no doubt be a good signing for the Red Devils. When he is on his game, the Welsh forward can be a true match-winner, as he showed in Kiev with his brace.
He should have played a more influential role at Real Madrid in recent seasons, as the Spanish club lifted the Champions League in three straight seasons. However, he always seemed slightly in the shadow of the irrepressible Cristiano Ronaldo.
If Bale is given reassurances that he will play on a regular basis for Los Blancos next season, I can see Manchester United once again suffering disappointment in their bid to sign the former Spurs star.
Could Manchester United finally sign Gareth Bale this summer?
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