Yes football fans, it’s that time of the year when we start speculating about Gareth Bale to Manchester United – otherwise known in journalistic circles as a ‘slow news day’.
But a few of the British tabloids have picked up on a story in a Spanish tabloid, the rather ironically named El Confidencial, that Gareth Bale will snub a new contract offer from La Liga giants Real Madrid in favour of a return to The Premier League.
The Daily Star is our vehicle of choice for this one and they say:
MANCHESTER UNITED are confident of signing Gareth Bale for a world-record fee, according to reports in Spain.
The fee being mooted is 94.6m GBP and that’s probably a realistic valuation given the age, profile and form of the player.
But would he actually want to leave the Champions League holders and biggest club in the world for Manchester United, a team who will be competing in The Europa League next season?
Well there is a definite allure to The Premier League, particularly for British footballers. Bale has been in Spain for 3 full seasons and has won The Champions League twice and the Copa del Rey in his time at Madrid. But he has still to win La Liga and that might tickle his fancy before departure.
Furthermore, while Spain may not be the perfect fit for his swashbuckling style, he will have serious designs on winning the European and World Footballer of the Year gongs and he will see the next two years as his best chance to do so. To that end, perhaps he will view Real Madrid and not Manchester United as the best platform for such a push.
In the end we can see him spending one more year, two at the most, in Spain before returning to England and one of the Manchester clubs. And his hero is Ryan Giggs so perhaps Manchester United do have the upper hand there.
But, as for him joining Manchester United this summer, well it’s probably just a slow news day…..