It’s a general fact of football; Real Madrid don’t release or sell players that they want to keep. We’ve seen Cristiano Ronaldo posture and raise doubts about his future several times over the seven years that he’s been at the Bernabeu until a bigger contract is shoved under his nose, and the likes of his Brazilian namesake, Raul and Zinedine Zidane didn’t leave the Spanish capital until they were either past their best or simply decided to retire.
Manchester United have rarely had luck purcashing anyone from Real Madrid; even when they did land Angel Di Maria in 2014 for £60m, he had been firmly put in the shop window in Madrid by Florentino Perez, and could easily have gone to the French capital had Paris Saint Germain not been constricted by Financial Fair Play. As such, it’s still difficult to imagine a world in which United can coax the club’s biggest players to Old Trafford.
If this new report in the Daily Express is anything to go by, that trend isn’t likely to be bucked any time soon. Gareth Bale, a player that United have been keeping close tabs on for years looks set to sign a new deal with the Spanish club that will keep him at Los Blancos until 2022, and earn him an estimated £350,000 a week.
This last point is easily the most far-fetched part of the article, but in case United get any ideas, there’s a £420 million release clause placed into the contract, just in case any of the continent’s rich clubs decide to make a bid. It’s a bit wild to suggest that Bale would agree to such an outlandish release clause, but the rest of the article seems completely plausible. Ronaldo’s time at Real Madrid cannot go on for ever, and much like Neymar and Lionel Messi at Barcelona, Real already have their heir apparent at the club.
It’s not the end of the world for United should Bale sign a new deal; there’s long been a suggestion that the Welshman wouldn’t fancy a return to the Premier League during the peak years of his career, and that’s how it’s likely to turn out. United have arguably turned their sights on a slightly less difficult transfer for next summer in the shape of Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann anyway, and given the young attacking talent that Jose Mourinho already has at his disposal, it’s difficult to be too down-hearted by this revalation.