For all of Gareth Bale's recent brilliance, the idea that he is anywhere close to the standard of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi has to be taken with a heavy pinch of salt.
Bale has been phenomenal in recent weeks for Spurs, but Messi and Ronaldo have played at the same level, and indeed a higher one, consistently for several years.
However Bale is still only 23, and could well develop to be counted amongst the very best in the world in the next few years.
With that in mind, if Manchester United could choose between signing the Tottenham Hotspur player and Cristiano Ronaldo this summer, would they be tempted to opt for the Welshman?
Ronaldo is an unbelievable player, and only 28 himself, but to have him in your side changes the way you have to play your football and even how the club is run. Ronaldo is the biggest draw even at Real Madrid, and the team along with the club are set up to best accommodate that.
Bale would be a different proposition entirely. As a player he has enjoyed one excellent season in the Champions League with Tottenham Hotspur, but has not played as part of a club the size of Manchester United before. In general Bale has a low key approach to his life that stands in stark contrast with Ronaldo and might fit in better at Manchester United as the club is today.
Add in his relative youth, and United might be tempted to opt for Bale as a player similar to how Ronaldo was during his spell at Old Trafford. The problem of course, and a major one at that, being Daniel Levy would not sell to United. Would he?
Whilst the Ronaldo of today is a better player, he might not be the ideal fit for a club that has moved on and would have to significantly adjust to accommodate him.
image: © Jan S0L0