When Gareth Bale started for Real Madrid in their Super Cup clash against Manchester United earlier this month, it appeared to signal the end of Jose Mourinho’s attempts to sign the Welshman.
At the time, the United boss admitted it was ‘game over’ and that he expected the Wales star to stay at Madrid this season. However, speculation is increasing that Real boss Zinedine Zidane could now be prepared to sell Bale in the current transfer window.
Bale, who moved to the Spanish capital from Tottenham Hotspur four years ago, and who has won the Champions League three times with the La Liga giants, was booed by sections of the Bernabeu and came in for stinging criticism by the media for his lacklustre performance in the 2-2 draw with Valencia on Sunday.
Describing him as ‘ineffective’ and ‘disconnected’, the report claims Zidane should ‘take advantage of the madness of a runaway market’ and sell Bale before the window slams shut on August 31.
The comments are sure to encourage Mourinho, who has made no secret of his admiration for the former Spurs attacker. He may yet be persuaded to make a last-ditch attempt to clinch what would be a stunning transfer.
There is no financial pressure on Madrid to sell Bale, having recouped £60 million from Alvaro Morata’s switch to Chelsea.
However, the meteoric rise of Marco Asensio, who has already become a cult figure at the Bernabeu, means the importance of Bale, who has repeatedly insisted he is happy in Spain and wants to win more silverware with the club, is quickly diminishing.
Despite Marca’s article, it seems very unlikely United could get a deal done. With less than 72 hours to go until the window closes, time is rapidly running out and Mourinho has already made three big-money transfers this summer.
Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic have all joined the Reds. Nonetheless, the crazy nature of the transfer market means nothing is impossible and United certainly have the financial clout to make Real an offer that would require serious consideration.