Gareth Bale to Manchester United is actually a thing? Perhaps so.
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Reports, including this one from The Sun, state that Gareth Bale to Manchester United is becoming more of a possibility as the Red Devils have pretty much given up in their pursuit of Jadon Sancho, for now.
Bale, 31, has spoken out about Real Madrid not letting him leave for China last year and is surplus to requirements at the Santiago Bernabeu with Zinedine Zidane only using him once off the bench during the restart over the summer.
The Welsh superstar has won four UEFA Champions League titles at Real but the fans and hierarchy at the club have often criticized his failure to integrate himself into the Spanish lifestyle, consistent injuries and his love of playing golf after training.
Bale has long been linked with a return to the Premier League, with moves to Manchester United and his former club Tottenham Hotspur both reported in the past. Even now, there is talk of Gareth Bale to Tottenham in a loan move. Usually we’d roll our eyes at this.
This seems different, though.
In a recent interview with our partners at Sky Sports, Bale spoke out against the notion he just wants to pick up his hefty wage packet at Real Madrid and sit on the bench. He doesn’t. He wants to play and if he can leave Real Madrid this summer and finds the right deal, then he probably will.
“If those options arise (interest from Premier League clubs) it is something I’d look at for sure,” Bale said. “We’ll see what happens, we have plenty of time in this transfer window and a couple of others as well. Time will tell but mainly I think the reason is that the decision is in Real Madrid’s hands.”
“I tried to leave last year but they blocked everything at the last second. It was a project I was excited for but it didn’t materialise. There have been other instances where we have tried to go but the club won’t allow it or they’ve done something. It’s down to the club.
“I want to play football, I am still motivated to play football, so I guess it’s on the club. They are in control of everything. I have a contract, all I can do is carry on what I am doing and hopefully something comes up.”
That said, who can afford his wages? Real Madrid are currently paying him close to $840,000 per week and Bale has another two years left on that monster contract. Per the report, Man United would want an initial loan and then try to sign Bale permanently.
A loan move to Manchester United or Tottenham seems likely but Real Madrid seem to either want to keep Bale just in case they need him, or try to sell him for big money to a Chinese Super League club. The latter seems unlikely following the deal which fell through last summer, so a loan move to a Premier League club is probably the only way Bale is leaving in the next 12-18 months. If he does at all.
What about Gareth Bale to Manchester United, then?
Well, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants British players in his squad and is obviously keen on adding a wide player given their repeated bids and interest in Jadon Sancho. If, as expected, Borussia Dortmund don’t sell Sancho, 20, until next summer, Man United will need a stop-gap, of sorts.
Bale could join on a season-long loan, get his career back on track and help the talented group of young forwards at Man United (Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford) to develop their game further.
Then, Bale could return to Real Madrid with under a year left on his contract and he would then probably be able to negotiate a move away with a very low transfer fee asked by the Spanish giants.
Whether he ends up at Manchester United or Tottenham, a move back to the Premier League, on loan, seems increasingly inevitable for Bale.