Manchester United are expected to spend big this summer on several signings, as they seek to bring the glory days back to Old Trafford, with the aim of fighting for the Premier League title, plus the challenge of competing in the Champions League once more next season.
Amongst the array of stellar names linked continually, is Real Madrid star Gareth Bale, following what has been a difficult season for the Welshman at the Santiago Bernabeu. In addition, the Red Devils have also been linked with his team-mate, central defender Raphael Varane.
Although his statistics for the season have still been impressive, Bale has unfortunately been a regular target of criticism from fans and the Madrid media, as the team failed to meet expectations. This has lead to speculation he is keen to leave.
Meanwhile, reports in Spain over recent months have suggested Varane might consider the offer of guaranteed starts elsewhere, with Manchester United keen to reinforce their defensive strengths and viewing the Frenchman as a superb option.
Speaking with Cadena COPE radio, as panellists debated possible transfer activity this summer, journalist Arancha Rodriguez explained that she has been reliably informed: "Manchester United have asked Real Madrid about the availability of Bale and Varane."
However, she also added: "The response from Real Madrid is that neither are for sale." Convinced that the two players will be firmly staying put.
If that continues to be the case, despite the pair remaining key targets for Manchester United this summer, it appears they will have to turn their attention elsewhere, amidst flat refusal to negotiate from Real Madrid.
With the door firmly remaining closed by their club, the only realistic chance of Manchester United landing either, would seem to be if Bale or Varane request transfers away from the Bernabeu.