The Red Devils were given a boost in their long-term pursuit of Bale when it was reported the winger was "devastated" by the sacking of manager Rafael Benitez on Monday, per Matt Law in the Telegraph.
However, according to Charlie Wyett in the Sun, the Old Trafford outfit are going to have to fight off Chelsea, Bayern and PSG if they want to snap up Bale, who "would cost at least £120 million."
Equally, he may not be available to any club at all at the moment, as Real president Florentino Perez insists Bale will not leave the Bernabeu for any price, per Wyett.
Bleacher Report's Dean Jones believes the 26-year-old will stay put in Madrid for now to work under new boss Zinedine Zidane but will join the Red Devils eventually:
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He is enjoying a decent season with Los Blancos in 2015-16 and has scored nine goals and provided seven assists in La Liga, per WhoScored.com.
The likes of United, Chelsea, PSG and Bayern would undoubtedly be attractive destinations for Bale should he want to leave Madrid, but his prospects at Real are very good.
Although he is seemingly upset to see Benitez leave—the Spaniard had made him the focal point of the attacking line—Zidane has insisted Bale will continue to be well-supported at the club, per the Champions League:
Champions League @ChampionsLeague
Zidane on Bale: "He’s a phenomenal player. I'm going to give him all the support and love he needs to play well." https://t.co/iUTVzHZmVi2016-1-5 13:46:53
Bale will surely want to stay put at least in the short term to see how things play out under Zidane, and United are unlikely to be able to snap him up in 2016.
In more positive news for the Premier League giants, they are reportedly closing in on the signing of Lazio's Felipe Anderson.
Anderson, 22, could provide United with further attacking quality and greater variety on the flanks, as he can play on either the right or left wing.
Given Lazio's struggles in Serie A this season—they lie in 10th, 14 points off a Champions League spot—the Brazilian would likely be open to a move away.
And if the Italian club are already lining up a replacement, it looks as though they may be resigned to letting Anderson go.