Well, that escalated quickly.
Only a few days after reports all over Europe confirmed Manchester United had “a real shot” to sign Gareth Bale, the player’s agent has discarded them. And not in a very good way. In an interview with Sky Sports News, Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, said the reports linking his client with a move away from Real Madrid are “ridiculous” and “stupid”.
There was no need to say that, Jonathan. But United understood the message, and there is apparently no chance Bale moves to Old Trafford this summer. The only problem is that Real Madrid’s manager, Zinedine Zidane, has not closed the door on a potential move.
Knowing Kylian Mbappe might join the club soon, Zidane does not want to have four world-class strikers on the team. That would mean at least one of them would have ride the bench. And all signs indicate Bale fits the mold. Even if Mbappe does not arrive, Real ended winning both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League playing with Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema upfront.
It seems crazy to even think about this considering Bale’s talent. But Real often looked better when the Welsh was not on the pitch.
Furthermore, Zidane spoke about a potential Bale transfer, and his choice of words did not rule out a move. “”I want everyone who is here now to stay but anything can happen right up until 31 August”, he said.
Furthermore, based on recent reports United do not see Bale as a priority signing anymore. Instead, the club has focused in Ivan Perisic but have not been able to acquire him yet. The 28-year-old Croatian certainly fits the mold of the wide player Mourinho wants to add to the side before the start of the Premier League on August 13. But if they want to sign him, they must move quickly.
And Bale? Despite reports and rumours, it seems the Welsh winger is set to stay in Madrid for the foreseeable future. But he already lost the starting spot to Isco last season, and if he remains as a substitute much longer, there is no doubt he will force an exit from Santiago Bernabeu. And maybe by that time, United would be keen to land him.
But that’s not going to happen this summer.