Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale has “verbally agreed” to join Manchester United, according to Spanish media outlet Diario Gol.
The Welsh star joined Real from Tottenham for over £85 million in 2013. Since his arrival, he has spent a lot of time on the treatment table. This has prevented him proving to Real president Florentino Perez that he’s the long-term replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.
He has made just 26 appearances in all competition this season and is currently sidelined with a calf injury. While Perez is frustrated at Bale’s lack of game time, the player is also frustrated at living in Ronaldo’s shadow.
The Diario Gol report claims that Bale has therefore verbally agreed with Jose Mourinho to join Manchester United this summer, but only if they qualify for the Champions League.
United currently sit four points behind Manchester City in the hunt for a top four Premier League finish. Failing to overtake their local rivals would mean missing out on securing a Champions League place through the league.
However, they have a great chance of winning the Europa League. They hold a 1-0 lead in their semi-final after their first leg match versus Celta Vigo and look likely to face Ajax in the final if they make it through.
Winning that final would guarantee them a place in Europe’s elite competition next season and possibly open the door for Bale to return to English football.
It isn’t the first time United have tried to sign Bale.
It was reported they offered more money than Real for him in 2013 before he moved to Madrid. No talks took place between United and the Welshman due to Spurs not wanting to sell to another Premier League club.
Bale’s return to England would be welcomed by United fans and probably strike fear into opposition defences. Despite his injury problems, he has still amassed 67 goals in 149 appearances for Real. He also has plenty of Premier League experience and scored 21 goals in his final season at Spurs.
It remains to be seen if these reports are true but, if they are, United would be sending a message of intent to their rivals by signing Bale.
Peter Reynolds, Pundit Arena