Offloading Gareth Bale

Spanish Champions Real Madrid remains confident of offloading Gareth Bale before the transfer window closes, with Manchester United the destination. According to reports from Mundo Deportivo, the Spanish side is willing to let Gareth Bale go for as little as £18 million with Manchester United and Tottenham interested.

While Tottenham should jump at the chance to sign their former player, there is little to suggest United should do the same. Bale has primarily played either side of a front three or behind the main striker, positions that United needs not another player. Team depth is significant, but ultimately, if you are United, you’d want a younger player who could progress to take that role. Bale is 31-years-old. If you want an experienced backup, you already have it with Juan Mata.

Just like waiting around for Jadon Sancho doesn’t make sense, this makes little for United either. Suppose it’s a one or two year stop gap until players like James Garner, Tahith Chong, and Ethan Galbraith are ready, then maybe. But what happens to Daniel James or Andreas Pereira? Neither player has consistently performed to the level expected, which is typical for younger players, but Bale’s signing drastically limits their playing time. Has United given up on these youngsters already?

There is the possibility you can play him at left-back, a position he played numerous times at the beginning of his career. However, it has become clear Bale does not see himself as a left-back anymore and how happy he would be to play there is unknown. Plus, playing him there would limit chances for possibly one of the most prominent bright spots of United’s last season. Brandon Williams broke through the youth academy into the first team when Luke Shaw got one of his numerous injuries. While Shaw was preferred when fit, Williams proved to be a more than adequate replacement.

While Bale still has two years left on his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu, it’s believed both the club and player will work to reach a compromise. Having played only twice since February, it is clear the midfielder is not in Zinedine Zidane’s plans. If a settlement is not reached to allow him to move on a free, Madrid will look for £18 million to offload Gareth Bale. With the Jadon Sancho saga running on, United may see this as a stop-gap. But how it affects their prospects coming through should play a huge part too. Real Madrid remains confident of offloading Gareth Bale, but should United be confident he doesn’t hurt their long term plan?

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