The Los Blancos’ sporting director Zinadine Zidane, along with club president Florentino Perez had previously and repetitiously stated interest in signing the Welshman who scored and incredible 21 goals and made 9 assists in the Premier League with Spurs last term.
Meanwhile, Manchester United have yet to sign a player of reputation this summer – new manager David Moyes had been targeting Barcelona youngster Thiago Alcantara who snubbed the English champions for the German and European champions Bayern Munich just over a week ago.
Then, last week, according to reports United made an enquiry with Tottenham’s Daniel Levy as to whether Spurs were open to negotiations for the £60 million-rated winger, to which the club reiterated once again that the player is not for sale – at any price.
However, with the spending power of United and Real Madrid, there is still the possibility that, if an enormous bid came in for the 23-year-old, Tottenham would likely be a little more open to the idea of selling him.
According to new reports this week, United’s apparent interest has concerned Real Madrid who had, after failing to negotiate with Tottenham and making progress with alternatives (namely, Isco) had seemed to cool their interest in Bale for this summer.
It is plausible that Real Madrid were content to let Tottenham call the shots and keep their star man (at least for the time being) but the prospect of him signing for another top club is a matter of urgency now for the Spanish giants.
If, and obviously it’s still an ‘if’, Bale were to have both United and Real Madrid on the table in front of him, which one should he (and would he) be better off choosing?
The Spurs’ man has already revealed it is his future dream to play in La Liga which swings the pendulum in Real Madrid’s favour considerably but, with the likes of Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo, Angel di Maria, Mesut Ozil, Kaka and former Spurs playmaker Luka Modric, Bale might be wiser to choose United where he would face less competition for a regular starting place.
At present, the Red Devils have Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia on the wings (both of whom have struggled considerably with form and fitness), Nani looks to be headed for the exit and Wilfried Zaha is going to take some time and adaptation to get used to the intensity of the top tier.
In attacking midfield, United have Shinji Kagawa but, with Paul Scholes retiring, 39-year-old Ryan Giggs unlikely to feature regularly, and Wayne Rooney looking increasingly likely to jump ship, new boss David Moyes could certainly use a player like Gareth Bale far more than Carlo Ancelotti genuinely needs him at the Bernabeu.
Furthermore, United’s style of play (under Ferguson at least) has always been attacking and more direct than the style implemented almost across the board in La Liga. The technical superiority of Spanish teams means that Bale’s technical quality would be less pronounced in a team like Real Madrid, compounded by the fact that La Liga defenders are used to dealing with that kind of quality on a regular basis.
In the Premier League that is not the case – a player like Bale stands out with the like of Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez because the English top tier does not have a player of Lionel Messi’s or Cristiano Ronaldo’s quality. That’s not meant as a slight to Bale or to England but his ability is relative to his opposition and competition.
Gareth Bale would likely improve and develop into the best player in the world if he went to Real Madrid (he would have to improve as a matter of necessity) but if he went to Manchester United, he could probably rule the Premier League for the next decade.
It depends on him – at the age of 23 with his whole career ahead of him, right now he may prefer to be the big fish in a smaller pond.