When it comes to Manchester United, some transfer stories just never completely go away. Even when they do, in the case of Cristiano Ronaldo’s long-rumoured return to Old Trafford, they merely appear to be in hibernation, waiting for the next sign of trouble in the Portuguese’s relationship with Real Madrid’s powerbrokers before United’s name is brought to the forefront as a potential destination yet again.
Indeed, over the last few years, the only story that could possibly dwarf a deal for Ronaldo would be that of his teammate at the Bernabeu. Gareth Bale has been a target for United for some time, with the club trying to sign him three years ago when the Welshman left Tottenham Hotspur before opting for a move to the Spanish capital. Last summer, the noise was that Bale was seriously considering swapping Madrid for Manchester, but he ended up staying and helping Real to their 11th Champions League.
That hasn’t stopped the press from suggesting that Bale’s future doesn’t lie in La Liga, with Diario Gol reporting that United have met with Bale’s representatives about the Welshman’s future. The quote below, translated from Spanish, makes for some interesting reading:
“In fact, the player’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, had a clandestine meeting in the city of Manchester at the end of last week. The representative of Bale faces was with Jose Mourinho, coach of United and Ed Woodward, CEO of the English club. They are beyond the club’s owners, the two people who have more decision-making power at Manchester United. And they agree on incorporating Bale (at United) next summer. Everyone understands that Bale must fly alone and if at the Bernabeu Cristiano Ronaldo remains an obstacle, the best solution is a change of equipment.”
Bale has enjoyed a relatively prosperous three years in Madrid, having won two Champions League titles and scored 61 goals in 131 appearances, but with Ronaldo still very much the main man for Real, and the 31-year old still scoring for fun in La Liga, it’s not outlandish to suggest that the Welshman may prefer moving to a less restrictive environment. At United, he would be another vital part of a young, emerging and exciting side featuring the likes of Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial, plus there’s the added bonus of being much closer to his family in Cardiff. Time will tell when it comes to Bale and United, and it’s worth noting that the Diario Gol article also notes that Bale is mulling over the option of a new contract at the Bernabeu, but this news has certainly given United fans food for thought.