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Manchester United are reportedly ready to launch a world-record bid for Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale next summer.
That’s according to Paul Hetherington of the Daily Star Sunday, who has suggested the Red Devils aren’t content with making Paul Pogba the most expensive player in history in this window and will put together an offer topping £100 million for Bale in 2017.
As noted in the piece, Real are trying to secure the Welshman’s future with a contract extension. “United believe they could have an ace to play in that their kit sponsors, Adidas, also have a contract with Bale,” added Hetherington. “And Adidas played a significant role in United’s sensational signing of Pogba.”
Mark Runnacles/Getty Images United broke the bank to land Pogba last summer.
Formerly of Tottenham Hotspur, Bale has become one of the standout players in the world since making the switch to Spanish football in 2013. Here’s a look at some of his best moments in the iconic Madrid jersey:
A difficult second season has been sandwiched by two brilliant ones for Bale, winning the UEFA Champions League on a couple of occasions with the illustrious club. Given the success he enjoys, the lifestyle in the Spanish capital and the progression he continues to make alongside Cristiano Ronaldo et al, it’s tough to see the 27-year-old being particularly keen to abscond from Madrid.
These numbers from Squawka Football show just how much of a positive impact Bale has had on the team at the Santiago Bernabeu:
Gareth Bale has been directly involved in 80 goals since joining Real Madrid in 2013 (49G, 31A). pic.twitter.com/Lj2DP0wD8e— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 21, 2016
United possess a major pulling power, as was evident by the manner in which they ensnared Pogba this summer despite not having UEFA Champions League football to offer. But taking a star from Real Madrid is another matter entirely.
Bale is considered by plenty tied to Los Blancos to be just as vital to Real’s cause as Ronaldo now. It’d be a huge blow to Madrid if they were to lose him. At the moment, with goals and trophies flowing freely, it’s difficult to see why the Welshman would want to play his football anywhere else.
Oliver Burke Linked to United
Tony Marshall/Getty Images
According to Mike McGrath of the Sun on Sunday, Manchester United want to sign Nottingham Forest’s teenage prodigy Oliver Burke this summer.
The 19-year-old Scotland international has lit up the Championship with some superb displays, reportedly catching the eye of the Red Devils, Bayern Munich and even Barcelona. McGrath added United boss Jose Mourinho would want to loan the youngster back to Forest should a £10 million deal be agreed.
As noted in the piece, Burke’s blistering speed and willingness to commit defenders has triggered comparisons with Bale. Daniel Storey of Football365 is keen to see the youngster remain a Forest player after Wednesday’s transfer deadline:
If the transfer window could just shut now with Oliver Burke safely tucked up in his Nottingham Forest duvet that would be lovely.— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) August 6, 2016
It’s hard not to be impressed by the winger in what remains the nascent stage of his career. He first cemented a spot in the Forest side in 2015-16, although has really caught fire in the current term, bagging four goals in just five appearances in the Championship.
Under former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, United were renowned for snapping up the finest British prospects and Burke has propelled himself towards that kind of stature with his dynamic displays. What is important is the Scotsman continues playing regular football, so if he was to depart this summer, a loan back to the City Ground would make sense for all parties.