Manchester United transfer news and rumours: club 'ready' record £90m Gareth Bale bid; Robert Lewandowski open to move; 'Japanese Messi' link

Who has been linked with Louis van Gaal's side today?

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The Independent Football

Manchester United have been given the green light to bid a world record £90m for long-term target Gareth Bale in the summer, according to reports.

The Sunday Times have reported that United will test Real Madrid's resolve at the end of the season by making the record bid for Welshman.

Bale, who scored a hat-trick for Real in their 5-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna last night, has been linked with United all season-long, with various reports stating that he is manager Louis van Gaal's No 1 target.

As exclusively reported in the Independent on Sunday, Bayern Munich Robert Lewandowski is considering his options, and United, Manchester City and Chelsea have all been put on alert about a potential £70m summer move.

The report adds that, at the age of 27, he wants to experience a new league while he is in the prime of his career. With Lewandowski contracted until 2019 the fee will be at least £70m.

Another player linked with United today is Mainz striker Yoshinori Muto, who has been labelled the "Japanese Messi", according to reports.

The Sunday People have reported that United are considering a £12m bid for the 23-year-old, who has been in impressive form this season, scoring seven goals in 18 games.

Muto only joined Mainz from FC Tokyo last summer.