Either Manchester United have really grown desperate this summer after bringing in exactly zero players on the market, or Tottenham have decided to squeeze every last drop out of Real Madrid in transfer negotiations by fabricating United's interest in Gareth Bale.
Either way, the latest rumours linking Bale to Manchester United are pretty hard to digest without a heaping side of skepticism.
Manchester United may offer competition to Real Madrid in the pursuit of Gareth Bale this week, with Tottenham Hotspur seemingly more receptive to the English champions, having become deeply frustrated by negotiations with the Spanish side.
United have not made a firm offer for Bale and, as the transfer window enters its last three weeks, they will be acutely aware of any attempt to use them as a way of flushing out a serious bid from the Bernabeu, at a time when Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is beginning to doubt whether the Spaniards actually possess the funds.
But United's failure to land a big-money signing this summer may persuade them to make a huge investment, to deliver the boost which is badly needed at the start of the David Moyes era, as well as goals and momentum. The failure to secure a marquee name has only amplified the noise created by Wayne Rooney and his desire to leave.
Let's just list a few of the reasons why United signing Bale seems so farfetched:
- With a foreign team (Real Madrid) already in pursuit of Bale, it seems very unlikely Tottenham would instead ship him to a league rival, especially with a top-four spot and berth in the Champions League up for grabs.
- Tottenham look likely to hold out for around £100 million and a player or two from Real Madrid. The odds of Manchester United being willing to pay that type of fee just left the town of Slim a while ago and have nearly reached None as we speak.
- There's no guarantee that Bale would want to join United with Real Madrid as an option. If Bale has his heart set on Los Blancos, the Red Devils will be out of luck.
- Until United sell Rooney—something the club insists isn't happening—there's no cash to make this move. And with the transfer window closing in 18 days, there may not be time to finalize what promise to be complex negotiations.
I could go on, but why bother? You get the point here, right?
If United actually are chasing Bale, they're wasting their time, much like they did pursuing Cesc Fabregas, always a long shot to leave Barcelona. Moyes may be quite delighted having far more money to play with than in his Everton days, but even United have limits to whom they can acquire.
If United are truly desperate to improve in the next few weeks, there are more realistic options out there than Bale to be had.
Which is why this is either United being naive, United linking themselves to a big name to keep the fans from being to restless until a signing is made or Tottenham trying to light a fire under Real Madrid to increase the Los Blancos bid.
Don't put it past Daniel Levy to squeeze every last cent and go down to the last minute negotiating Bale's sale.
And don't expect the Welsh star to be donning a Manchester United shirt anytime soon.