The transfer window wouldn’t be complete without some Gareth Bale transfer rumours… Man Utd’s interest in Bale has been well documented. They must get linked to the Welshman every transfer window. Apparently Mourinho is planning a £93mil offer in the next couple of days. Reports state Bale would only consider Utd if he were to leave Madrid. I’m not sure of how accurate that is though.
We take a look at whether this rumour is any different to others or if it’s just the same old story…
Position: attacking left midfield, can also play on the right or through the centre and left midfield
Reported Transfer Fee: £93mil
2016/17 League Stats: 17 starts (2 sub appearances) 7 goals (2 assist)
These kind of stories are part of the reason I was motivated to start this website. As fans we are inundated with some stories, not just throughout the transfer window but throughout the whole season. They largely consist of the same player being continually linked to a particular club but for all the hundreds of stories on the matter there’s little reliable information or accuracy. It’s usually just the same story just retold in a different way. Well there’s nothing new with this one… again.
Bale was booed in Real Madrid’s latest draw versus Valencia. As soon as you saw that report you just knew he’d be linked with a move away again and you knew Man Utd would be involved.
Mourinho didn’t really help the situation with his comments in pre-season in which he expressed some tentative interest in Bale. You can’t really blame him however to test the waters and see if there was any chance he could engineer something out of nothing. Bale is after all a top player. Mourinho won’t have been too surprised not to receive much encouragement but that hasn’t stopped the reports and his interest.
For all of Real Madrid’s quality and the great young talents like Asensio and Dani Ceballos waiting in the wings, their squad isn’t the deepest in terms of experienced internationals beyond Bale, Isco, Benzema and Ronaldo in the attacking positions.
My feelings on the likelihood of this transfer are probably already clear but for Real to lose such an important player this late in the transfer window with no obvious replacement, given Mbappe looks to be going to PSG makes this rumour all the more absurd.
Despite Bale’s indifferent start to the season and injury hit campaign last season, he’s still very important to Real Madrid. With Ronaldo aging, Bale provides the Real attack with a physicality a lot of the other players lack. His pace and power gives Real a different dimension going forward. As does his ability to play like an orthodox wide attacker and provide a threat from the flank.
So many players who play out wide these days can’t provide consistently good final balls, Bale does.
There’s not an awful lot of players like Bale around anymore, especially on the continent. The variety in Real’s attack is one of the reasons for their recent successes.
I completely fail to see any logic in this rumour from Real’s perspective, with their current squad and at this stage of the window.
Utd had shown clear intent to sign a left-sided attacking midfielder. Their pursuit of Perisic has been very public and doesn’t look like it’s going to be successful but in all honesty I don’t think that’s a bad thing. His presence would only block the likes of Rashford’s and Martial’s path to the first team.
The knock on effect this could have on their development could be quite damaging, especially for Martial who had at times looked to be on borrowed time after a poor second season. Both have a ton of potential though, Mourinho really should be doing everything he can to help nurture their talent.
It remains to be seen if either Martial or Rashford’s long-term future will be on the left side but with Lukaku now it’s hard to see them played through the middle.
Bale is clearly at another level to what Utd have currently but if he signed, by some miracle, like Perisic, he would block the progress of the youngsters. There maybe substantial short-term benefits to signing Bale but at what long-term cost to Rashford and Martial?
£90mil+ seems to be the going rate for a player of Bale’s quality. Considering his age and recent injury record, it seems a tad excessive in my opinion but Utd can afford it. Then there’s the marketing value of such a deal. I’m sure any club would easily make back such a transfer fee for a player like Bale in endorsements and shirt sells. So the finances are almost an irrelevance to be honest.
I clearly don’t think Bale will be on the move this Summer.
I wouldn’t rule it out next summer depending on his form and fitness, injuries have been a real problem for him. A lot will depend on Real’s recruitment in the meantime. Although it is going to take some special business to see them part with Bale.
Martial’s and Rashford’s development this season will be interesting. If they really start fulfilling the potential everyone believes they have, would Utd really need another player for the left side of their attack?
If Bale does become available it’s hard to see Utd turning down the opportunity though or there being any suitors more appropriate. So if or when he does leave, if for no other reason than sheer persistence, Man Utd look like the only destination, just not this summer and I have my doubts about next summer too.
Have I been too harsh on the media industry? Will Bale join Utd eventually? What are your thoughts on Rashford and Martial? Let me know below, I’d be interested to hear from you.