According to a report in the Independent Gareth Bale has “seriously considered” signing for Manchester United in the past but the Real Madrid superstar is concerned about the current turmoil at Old Trafford.
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Bale, 26, was reportedly subject of a world record $150 million bid in the summer but decided against leaving the Spanish capital. However if Louis Van Gaal was to leave — the Dutch boss has almost hit rock bottom after being booed off on Saturday following a home defeat to Southampton — and Jose Mourinho or another big-name manager arrived with a long-term plan to build the team around Bale, the former Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur star would reconsider. It has long been known that United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is obsessed with signing a player who can be a Ballon d’Or contender, and Bale would certainly fit the bill as he’s just coming into his prime.
The Welsh forward is currently injured after yet another calf injury, and his club are in a spot of bother with a transfer ban coming up for the next two transfer windows after this month, meaning no new players could be signed. If they fail in an appeal of that transfer ban, can they really afford to sell Bale?
The man who signed for Real in 2013 for a world record fee of $132 million — and a recent release of previously confidential contract information says Spurs have the option to match any transfer bid made for Bale — has said many times he is happy at the Santiago Bernabeu but it seems like if Bale wants a return to England then United would be his top destination. Provided they sort themselves out, of course.
Sunderland are said to be chasing Swansea City’s Ghanaian forward Andre Ayew hard. Ayew, 26, scored in Swansea’s 2-1 win at Everton on Sunday and according to The Guardian a bid of $15 million, plus Italian striker Fabio Borini was turned down. The Swans not wanting to sell their leading scorer — Ayew has eight goals in his debut Premier League season after arriving from Marseille — to a direct relegation rival is probably the main stumbling block here.
Another North East club is on the lookout for a new striker with the Evening Chronicle claiming that Newcastle United could offer Chelsea’s Loic Remy the chance to return to St James’ Park on loan… but only if the Blues sign Alexandre Pato during the final week of the window. Remy, 29, spent a season on loan with the Magpies in 2013-14 and scored 14 goals in 26 games before returning to parent club Queens Park Rangers and then on to Chelsea.
Manager Steve McClaren, who has already signed Henri Saivet, Jonjo Shelvey in January and is on the brink of adding Andros Townsend, clearly wants to bolster his striking options because another report, this time from the Telegraph, claims that Alexandre Lacazette is keen on a move to the Magpies. Lacazette, 24, had previously said he wants to move to the Premier League but it became apparent the French striker didn’t fancy a move to Newcastle and Lyon were eager to keep hold of him and sell him in the summer.
However, it appears he may have changed his mind and the man who has spent his entire career at Lyon — scoring 78 goals in 210 outings — could follow in the footsteps of many of his countrymen in using Newcastle as a stepping stone, plus also becoming one of their highest-paid players in the process. Newcastle need goals and signing Lacazettte for a figure of around $30 million would be a major coup if it happens in the coming days. More than likely Lacazette will be on the move this summer.