It would not be a transfer window without the Gareth Bale to Manchester United rumours.
According to Spanish publication Marca, Real Madrid are hoping United come in with a bid for the Welshman this summer. The problem is, that ship has well and truly sailed.
The report claims the Spanish champions are hoping United firm up their alleged interest with an offer for the want-away international. It adds that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side is one of the few English clubs able to afford Bale this summer.
United fans would be forgiven for rolling their eyes at yet another Bale story. After all, the 31-year-old would be more Alexis Sanchez than Bruno Fernandes.
Yet, these stories will continue until one move United definitely should make is completed. Until Jadon Sancho rocks up at Old Trafford in the famous red shirt, the shadow of Bale will loom large.
It is in part due to lazy journalism, and in part due to the click-bait nature of United and each and every transfer window. But it is also because there is a gap in Solskjaer’s side that only a few could fill.
The past and the future
United need a new right winger and Sancho is the ideal candidate. The problem is that he is going to be incredibly expensive.
Ed Woodward will want to get the best possible deal for Sancho but that may not exist. After all, Borussia Dortmund will want the same for them, leaving things at an impasse.
While that continues, throwing Bale into the mix is a logical if annoying conclusion. Yes, the Welshman at his peak would be a more than worthy alternative. But those days are gone.
United do have the money to sign Bale. Woodward has also previously shown the inclination to bring him back to England. So Marca’s story is no real surprise whatever the truth behind it.
Now Bale has gone on record to express his frustration, the United rumours were bound to resurface.
If Sancho ultimately arrives this summer, the Bale story can finally be put to bed. Not even the most desperate of journalists would suggest he was United-bound if the 20-year-old completes our already impressive forward line.
But until Sancho comes, or until United sign a sensible alternative, Bale’s name will sit in the corners of conversations and atop plenty of headlines (this one included).
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