Manchester United: Welshman targeted; interest in Manchester City veteran; Rashford hits hat-trick

After already being linked with a potential world record breaking move for Antoine Griezmann for next summer in the week following the closure of the 2016 summer transfer window, Manchester United have been rumoured to be interested in another huge signing for 2017.

There have been whispers coming from Real Madrid that the club and Gareth Bale are in a slight disagreement over the awarding of a new contract. The club are unwilling to make Bale the highest earner at the club, and there is talk in the Spanish media (admittedly, Barcelona biased SPORT) that some of the senoir players are unhappy with the Welshman.

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Unsurprisingly, given their previous interest in the player, Manchester United have made supposedly made contact with the player’s representatives, offering an eye-watering wage of £16.7 million per year in order to lure Bale away from the Bernabeu and back to the Premier League.

Bale, though, is said to be happy at Real Madrid, and is really flourishing under Zinedine Zidane. Since the Frenchman took over the top job at the Bernabeu, Bale has scored more goals per 90 minutes than Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Wales star is already established as one of the world’s best players.

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If there really is discord between Real Madrid and Bale, it might be possible for United to jump in. It would have to take another massive deal, but they have the financial muscle to pull it off. However, Bale is happy at Real Madrid, is excelling there, and as long as Zidane is the manager, he has a system that suits him. As long as things are well behind the scenes, Bale will remain in Madrid.

Elsewhere, United have been surprisingly linked with a move for Manchester City outcast Yaya Toure.

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Toure, who has been ousted by Pep Guardiola before in his career (at Barcelona) was left out of the club’s Champions League squad. It appears his Manchester City career is over, and there are a host of clubs after his services, including Arsenal and United, as well as interest from Europe, China and the United States.

The 33-year-old has said he will wait until January before signing a pre-contract agreement at another club, and admittedly, Manchester City would have no control over any move Toure would make, meaning that seeing him in a United shirt could happen.

However, Toure’s agent seems to think the move would be “impossible”, and the story does have an air of implausibility about it. A move across Manchester is very rare, and United probably couldn’t guarantee Toure first team action in the way a foreign club could. A move abroad is most likely.

Finally, Marcus Rashford made his debut for the England Under 21 team last night, marking it with a hat-trick.

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The 18-year-old has now scored on his debut in the Europa League, Premier League, his England senior debut and now his under-21 bow.

The goals came in a 6-1 demolition of Norway, where Rashford’s pace and finishing pulled apart the Scandinavian defence. After scoring the winner against Hull City last time out, it is clear that the youngster is in great form, and will be a big factor in the Manchester derby at the weekend, where he scored the winner last season.

Elsewhere on the international scene, Paul Pogba’s France disappointingly drew 0-0 with Belarus, Daley Blind and the Netherlands drew 1-1 with Sweden, Marouane Fellaini played in a 3-0 Belgium win in Cyrpus as Antonio Valencia fell to a 2-1 loss in Peru with Ecaudor.

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