Manchester United FC are moving toward the January break with some momentum, and optimistic supporters are looking to see what moves manager Louis van Gaal might be making to help them keep it and move toward the title. Persistent rumors about the possibility that they might land Gareth Bale from Real Madrid have not slowed down in the least, and have become an obsession for many. With van Gaal refusing to speak about the possibility when asked in an interview recently, he sparked a surety in some that United is, indeed, making a move for Bale.
Bale’s representatives have said that they are not sure why the rumors persist, and that he is happy where he is at Real Madrid. That said, there is an awful lot of smoke for there not to be a least a little bit of fire. Reports of an upcoming world-record offer of £120 million to temp the Welshman have raised eyebrows along with the expectation level of United supporters.
Though no such offer has officially been announced, some fans are already salivating at the thought of seeing Bale in United colors. It may take more than a hefty contract, however, to lure Bale off of the world stage. Some have suggested that the global audience and fan-base he has attained during his time at Real makes returning to the Premier League and a primarily English audience a prospect which might not be beneficial to his career.
It has also been suggested that this is all just a lot of pre-transfer window speculation with no real chance of happening. It does not appear on the surface to make sense for Real to part with one of the premier players at the club a year after setting spending records to acquire him. If the United offer is real, however, they do stand to make a healthy profit if rumored plans for a possible replacement are true. At least one report from Spanish media has Real targeting Marco Reus from Borussia Dortmund as a replacement for Bale should they decide to sell. A £20 million price tag for Reus leaves a hefty profit for Real should the United deal actually happen. At the moment, United has also expressed an interest in Reus, though it is expected that if they make the Bale deal, Reus will be off the table.
Another factor to the possibility of Bale heading to Old Trafford is the timing. The initial reports about the United offer were all anticipating that the deal would take place this coming summer. That may still be the case. It might well be that it is simply the impending start of the transfer season that has everyone expecting things to move more quickly. That said, it is being talked about a little too often in a few too many places for a January deal to be discounted altogether. Whenever, or even whether, they make their move for Bale, it seems clear that Manchester United is at least keeping him in their sights. For certain the United supporters are.
Commentary By Jim Malone
Image courtesy of Calcio Streaming – Flickr License