Manchester United Transfer News: Latest Gareth Bale, Henrikh Mkhitaryan Rumours

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2017

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 16:  Gareth Bale of Real Madrid looks on prior to the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 Final between Gremio and Real Madrid at the Zayed Sports City Stadium on December 16, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Manchester United could switch their attentions from Antoine Griezmann to Gareth Bale, as Borussia Dortmund consider an approach for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News reported the Red Devils might focus on Bale or Arsenal's Mesut Ozil, with Griezmann reportedly preferring a transfer to Barcelona. United manager Jose Mourinho is motivated to purchase a world-class attacker, and Bale has been on the club's radar for years. 

Per Luckhurst, Griezmann and his family have met with Barca to discuss a switch to the Camp Nou, scuppering chances of moving to Old Trafford. The Frenchman has previously voiced concerns about a transfer to England due to the weather, and he is settled in Spain after marrying his girlfriend last summer.

Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

However, Spanish outlet Diario Gol (h/t Lee Astley of The Sun) recently reported Mourinho has gone off the idea of purchasing Bale and has told Real Madrid he has reservations about the Welshman's fitness record.

Bale's absences have seen him lose credibility in the Spanish capital, and a move to the Theatre of Dreams would give the attacker a huge stage to relaunch his stuttering career.

The 28-year-old remains a global superstar, but his productivity has evaporated after suffering persistent injury.

The former Tottenham Hotspur winger has only three goals and assists to his name in La Liga and Europe this season.

United have experienced a good start to the campaign this term, but the outstanding form and flair of Manchester City has negated Mourinho's results.

Manchester United's Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on November 25, 2017. /
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The Red Devils lack the creativity of their crosstown rivals, and the capture of Bale would give the Stretford End the excitement they crave.

United have relied on Juan Mata and Mkhitaryan to support Romelu Lukaku as a No. 10, but it now appears Mourinho could lose one of his attackers.

Miguel Delaney of The Independent reported Mkhitaryan could return to former club Dortmund after being frozen out of the first team by the Special One. BVB have shown the "strongest interest" in the Armenia international who has failed to find his best form since leaving the Bundesliga.

At 28, Mkhitaryan's lack of impact will have spooked his manager, and it is now unlikely he will adapt to the rigours of English football and Mourinho's defensive tactics.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Manchester United and Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United embrace after he is subbed during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stock
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Per the club's official website, Mourinho explained why he has been excluding the Armenian:

"I can only have six [outfield] players on the bench and I try to have some balance on the bench – I had two defenders and [Daley] Blind who can play in different areas. I had Ashley Young to cover me all of the wing and the wing-back position.

"I had [Ander] Herrera as a midfield player, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] as a striker and Marcus [Rashford] as a second striker and winger. I played [Anthony] Martial, [Juan] Mata and [Jesse] Lingard in the team. To have Micki means that I don’t have one of them and, in this moment, I believe the other ones they deserve [the chance to play]."

SKOPJE, MACEDONIA - AUGUST 08: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid attempts to get past Victor Lindelof of Manchester United during the UEFA Super Cup final between Real Madrid and Manchester United at the Philip II Arena on August 8, 2017 in Skopje, Macedonia.  (
Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Bale would be a suitable signing if a spot in the attack emerges, with pace central to Mourinho's formation.

Griezmann would have been perfect for the club last summer, but with United's needs evolving as Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial develop, the capture of Bale makes tactical sense.

The Wales international has something to prove once again after a trophy-winning career at Los Blancos, and he could provide the stardust to light up the Theatre of Dreams.