Gareth Bale’s future has been widely debated this summer, as rumours persist that Real Madrid would be open to cashing in on the Welsh wizard for the right price.
Manchester United have been heavily linked with the 28-year-old this summer, and Jose Mourinho confirmed the club’s interest in his press conference ahead of the Red Devils’ UEFA Super Cup clash with the La Liga giants, according to reports published by the Mirror.
However, according to the Daily Express, Chelsea are believed to have thrown their hat into the ring and could be set to hijack United’s pursuit of Bale.
Antonio Conte has already spent considerably more than £100 million in this transfer window on Alvaro Morata – incidentally from Real – Antonio Rudiger and Tiemoue Bakayoko, but the Chelsea manager wants to add more quality and competition to his squad, who face a busier schedule this season with the addition of Champions League football.
Conte’s belief will have only been reinforced after watching the reigning Premier League champions lose the Community Shield on penalties to Arsenal at the weekend.
Bale has previously stated that he wants to remain at Madrid, as BBC Sport reported earlier in the window, and is determined to win more silverware, particularly after an injury-plagued 2016/17 campaign.
Arguably the highlight of his time at Real was returning to his homeland in June to triumph in the Champions League final against Juventus. However, any move away from Spain would almost certainly hinge on whether Real act on their interest in Kylian Mbappe, who is attracting admiring glances from the biggest clubs in Europe.
Having sold Morata to Chelsea, there is a vacancy for an out-and-out striker at Madrid, with the 18-year-old Monaco wonder kid understood to be on Zinedine Zidane’s wish list. Mbappe would potentially cost upwards of £150 million, though, and the Spanish giants would need to balance the books accordingly.
Bale could be the fall guy, particularly given his chequered injury record. He made only 19 La Liga appearances last season, scoring seven goals, the worst return in his four-year spell in Madrid.
It certainly is silly season regarding transfer rumours and this looks to be one of the more far-fetched ones. It easy to see why Conte would want Bale, who would slot perfectly into his starting XI and he is perfectly suited to English football. Nonetheless, this deal is unlikely to materialise.