Manchester United stance on Gareth Bale in transfer window after Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid comments
Bale, 30, was never considered among United’s priority targets this summer and the MEN previously reported the Welshman could be ‘filed low down’ on United’s list of possible attacking reinforcements.
Real coach Zinedine Zidane infuriated Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett by saying he hopes the winger leaves the club as soon as possible.
“We hope he leaves soon,” Zidane said. “It would be best for everyone. We are working on his transfer to a new team.
“I have nothing personal against him but there comes a time where things are done because they must be done. I have to make decisions. We have to change.
“The exit is the coach’s decision and also of the player, who knows the situation. The situation will change, I do not know if in 24 or 48 hours, but it will – and it’s a good thing for everyone.”
Bale is contracted to Real until 2022 but was on borrowed time at the Bernabeu as soon as Zidane was reappointed as coach in March. Although Bale has never been more attainable for long-time admirers United, the club has ironically passed on the chance to sign their one-time target.
United have made at least four attempts to sign Bale since they scouted him as a teenager at Southampton in 2006. United submitted a world record £86m offer in 2013, the summer Bale moved to Madrid from Tottenham for £85m. Former United manager Jose Mourinho also publicly courted Bale during the 2017 summer window.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer indicated in February United would shy away from their ‘superstar’ strategy of recent years and the club’s focus in the transfer window is on younger recruits. Bale turned 30 earlier this month.
“I can’t really comment on Gareth Bale or specific players,” Solskjaer said back in March. “Because they’re property of other clubs but we should look for quality players, definitely, and players who could improve us as a team.
“There are so many factors you need to think about when you sign players. It’s easy when you’re in the media or when you’re a supporter, you can think short-term. We’ve got to think about the longevity as well, who’s going to fit in personality-wise.
“So there are so many things that we need to think about.”
Bale, whose Spanish is so limited he has conducted just one broadcast interview in the language during his six years with Real, is barely on speaking terms with Zidane and admitted after his matchwinning goals in last year’s Champions League final he had to ‘seriously consider’ leaving after he started the game on the bench. Zidane stepped down days later and Madrid then sold Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus to effectively secure Bale’s Real future.
Barnett castigated Real fans for booing the Bale earlier this year and the former Tottenham forward’s aloofness in the Real squad was exposed by teammate Thibaut Courtois. Bale is nicknamed ‘The Golfer’ by his Real colleagues.