Forget Ronaldo! Manchester United linked to new £86m star

Gareth Bale

Manchester United have been linked, bizarrely, to former Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale.

Manchester United have been linked with a stunning move to sign Gareth Bale.

The Star claim: "A possible deal has been mooted within the inner sanctums at Old Trafford after a failed bid in August last year.

"Now United are planning another swoop, in the knowledge they are unlikely to be able to tempt Cristiano Ronaldo back to the north-west."

Bale signed for Real Madrid for £86 million a year ago from Tottenham, and was interesting United then.

The Red Devils have been strongly linked with a deal to sign Cristiano Ronaldo, but reports this week have indicated they are close to giving up, for next summer at least, due to Real Madrid refusing to budge.

Bale played a key role in Real's Champions League win, also netting the winner in the Copa del Rey Final against Barcelona.

Yet this year, despite a glowing performance against Basel a fortnight ago, he has come in for criticism in the Spanish press.

Marca reported only yesterday: "Certain behaviour and attitudes have been worrying the Italian more than they did at the beginning of the new season.

"His main concern is Bale, that same player who kicked off pre-season in great attacking form, but was falling short with his defensive responsibilities. Neither Ancelotti nor the Welshman's teammates see the former Tottenham man as involved in the team's dynamic as he was towards the end of last season."

Barring a serious falling out however, it would be a major surprise if Bale quit Madrid after only two seasons.

He is younger than Ronaldo, and therefore Real have more incentive to keep him around - especially after such a battle to sign him originally, while Bale has made no indication he wants to leave any time soon, only telling BT Sport last month he would be open to re-joining Spurs later in his career.

It's an outlandish claim that United would attempt to sign him, although it is not inconceivable that the ambitious Ed Woodward would try, yet the £80 million plus fee would be far better spent on defenders and central midfielders instead.

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