Manchester United are reportedly preparing a €100 million bid for Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale.
The Old Trafford club have been linked with the ex-Tottenham man for more than a year now and the speculation won’t go away. The Metro is one of a number of tabloids in competing for two starting position out wide.
The Welsh international has a lot of competition for a place in the starting lineup at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium with former Man United hero Cristiano Ronaldo, Isco and youngster Marco Asensio joining Bale for two starting positions out wide.
Bale has started both of the Los Blancos’ first two La Liga games of the 2017-18 season, as Ronaldo is still out of team due to his five-game suspension.
However, the continued development of Marco Asensio in the Spanish capital is putting huge pressure on Bale. The 21-year-old Spaniard has shown how talented his left-foot is against both Barcelona and Valencia already this season and is already strongly expected to be the heir to Ronaldo’s throne on the left side of the attack.
His compatriot – Isco – who future at Bernabeu looked bleak when Zinedine Zidane initially took charge, is now a key part of the French boss team.
As for Bale? The Welshman has only played in 50% of the European champions’ La Liga games last season (17 starts) and 21 the year before. He has had lots of injury problems ever since he moved to the Spanish capital. With the wage he is one and his sell-on value quickly become progressively worse as he gets older, some couple of hours may be the best time for the Champions League holders to cash in on him.
He’s predominantly played on the right wing of a front three at Madrid and he could certainly be a different option to what the Red Devils currently have in Juan Mata, and certainly an upgrade on Jesse Lingard.
But would the former Tottenham player be a good signing for Jose Mourinho? The three-time Champions League winner wouldn’t be used at left-back where he started out at Southampton and with the Spurs. It’s unlikely he’d be on the left-wing too regularly either with both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial impressive down there.
Watching Real Madrid’s 2-2 draw with Valencia over the weekend I have to question if Bale is worth anything near the reported €100 million (£92m) that United are supposedly going to bid for him.
He didn’t get in possession as nearly as much as he did in his prime, wasn’t successful in taking on the Valencia defence and never threatened goalkeeper Neto. Off the ball he committed as many fouls as he did successful tackles.
Sure, Bale is only coming back from another injury and it’s the start of the season – but his performances and injury record puts a big doubt in my mind as to whether he is really worth what the Red Devils are reportedly offering. A Gareth Bale in his prime I’d certainly take at Old Trafford – but are those days behind him now?