Gareth Bale to Manchester United? No, we’ve not just stepped out of a DeLorean that’s gone back in time, the Sunday Times is linking the Red Devils with a bid for the Wales international.
This is the same Wales international who only joined Real Madrid for a world-record fee in the summer.
Bale joined Real without having had a proper pre-season, and he has been beset by fitness problems.
It has been forgotten on account of the problems, but Bale made a sizzling start to his Real career with a goal on his debut.
It has gone downhill since then, as he has battled injuries and seen his club wage war with the media amid talk that he requires an operation.
That would appear to have been put to bed when Bale was handed a start against Barcelona on Saturday, but his Clasico debut did not go as planned, as he threw in a below-par display and was subbed in the second half.
On the heels of that performance was a report from Sunday Times writers Jonathan Northcroft and Duncan Castles, which claimed United were keeping tabs on Bale’s situation and could make a bid in the summer.
After securing the capture of Bale, Real president Florentino Perez revealed that United had tried to beat them to the deal.
While Bale’s season has not started well, United’s has been as bad in its own right. The failure to bring in any of their top summer targets, aside from Marouane Fellaini, did not help the Red Devils’ cause, and they are eight points adrift of league leaders Arsenal.
A capture of a marquee player such as Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo or Cesc Fabregas would have boosted new manager David Moyes, but it did not happen.
Northcroft and Castles claim it could happen next summer, but given how hard Real fought to get Bale—and the amount paid—it would be an astonishing move if he were to be sold after just one season.
Should Bale prove to be a flop in Madrid, he almost certainly will be moved on at some stage. But injuries have prevented him from making any sort of impact, and he should be judged after he’s had a decent run in the team.
Believability Meter: Low
There is likely to be truth in the claim that United are monitoring Bale’s situation, but a departure from Real after one season just does not appear likely.