Real Madrid ready to negotiate with Manchester United over Gareth Bale summer transfer

Sources in Spain and Manchester have said that the La Liga champions are willing to listen to offers from United for the Welsh forward

Miguel Delaney
Friday 02 June 2017 20:52 BST
Manchester United first tried to sign Gareth Bale back in 2013
Manchester United first tried to sign Gareth Bale back in 2013 (Getty)

Real Madrid are open to negotiating with Manchester United over a possible Gareth Bale transfer this summer, as they seek to free funds and space in their squad to sign one of Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe or Chelsea’s Eden Hazard,

While Real president Florentino Perez remains a huge fan of Bale, having pushed for what was then a world-record £86m signing from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013, the run to the Champions League final has seen Spanish playmaker Isco leap ahead of the injured Welsh star and fostered discussion about how Zinedine Zidane’s team is more cohesive without him.

That has led to influential members of the Bernabeu boardroom arguing that Bale could well be the high-profile player to leave this summer, if they do want to follow their usual policy of signing a 'Galactico'.

Sources in Spain and Manchester have said that Real are thereby willing to listen to offers from United, and that the subject has already been broached between the two clubs. The Old Trafford club are meanwhile intent on signing another “marquee name” this summer, and have been forced to look elsewhere now that Antoine Griezmann has confirmed he is staying at Atletico Madrid for at least another season.

United’s interest in Bale long predates their pursuit of Griezmann, having tried to sign the Welsh international when he first moved to Madrid in 2013, and it now looks like an opportunity may present itself.

For his part, Bale is known to have told colleagues that Old Trafford is one of the very few destinations he would leave Real Madrid for.

Any transfer could therefore be convenient to all parties. Despite that, Bale is unlikely to come cheap, and Real would still insist on a fee of around £100m while also using the situation to leverage their pursuit of David De Gea.

United have so far been resolute in their refusal to even countenance the sale of the goalkeeper, since they simply do not need the money or to negotiate, although some sources feel a swap deal could yet be possible.

Gareth Bale is set to start on the bench for Saturday's final
Gareth Bale is set to start on the bench for Saturday's final (Getty)

The Old Trafford hierarchy have meanwhile made initial enquiries about signing Romelu Lukaku as the No 9 they so desire, although Everton have set a price of £90m.

Bale is unlikely to start Saturday’s Champions League final, having been out with a calf injury since the 3-2 Clasico defeat to Barcelona on 23 April, but is expected to come off the bench at some point.

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