Depending on the country, the summer transfer window opens in June or July, going all the way through August or September, respectively. But that doesn’t mean silly season is not already upon us. So that’s why every week for as long as I deem appropriate, I’ll select my favorite rumor of the week and break down whether it makes sense or not. It can be about any team or player, so long as it’s typically linked within the top five leagues across Europe.
Back again, hey? Well hopefully we won’t disappoint. Did you catch our piece from last week—Michy Batshuayi leaving the Premier League champions for he Ligue 1 champions? Seems fairly feasible, right? (Hope you didn’t forget about the porn star aspirations either!)
Well not to worry, because we’re just getting started. It’s summer you see, which means Manchester United has money to spend. Lots of money. More money than even Manchester City is spending… probably. And that’s an awful lot as we [squints at calendar] are only in the first week of JUNE. Pep Guardiola is playing a damn career mode in FIFA with the money he’s currently spending.
Anyway, don’t expect Manchester United to stay quiet for much longer. They paid a king’s ransom for Paul Pogba last summer; what’s going to stop them from doing the same again this time around? Next to nothing.
But Gareth Bale? Surely it cannot be as simple as United telling Real Madrid: ‘Here’s a boatload of money; we’ll take our player now please.’ Real Madrid already have a boatload of money. They don’t need to sell players simply for the sake of selling them. But they might want to sign one of either Monaco’s Kylian Mbappé or Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, says The Independent, and a Bale sale would certainly help get them closer to achieving that. But I can’t be the only one thinking that Madrid will at least try to include United goalkeeper David De Gea in discussions, right?
Speaking of the aforementioned FIFA career mode, if United did offer De Gea and, say, £15-£20 million, they’d absolutely get this deal. Maybe closer to £30 million plus De Gea. Seriously. They still haven’t fixed that. Anyway,for this exercise we’ll assume this is just a negotiation involving only Gareth Bale. Nothing more.
Would this make sense for Bale?
Normally, suggesting Manchester United as being a “step down” would be wholly inaccurate. But leaving Real Madrid for Manchester United would be a step down at this point. That’s simply where United are at right now. They should be better in the EPL next season. Plus they have Champions League football again, which is great.
But Madrid will always be in the La Liga title race. Madrid will always be a heavy favorite to take the Champions League. I can’t say either is true for Manchester United at this point. That may very well change in a year or two, but that’s simply not the reality right now. That’s not to say the prestige of the club itself wouldn’t be enough, however. After all, they did get Pogba from Juventus without a PL title defense or UCL football to offer.
When it comes to first-team football, look—it’s Gareth Bale. If he’s fit, he’s playing. The issue this season, of course, has been his fitness from time to time. When it comes to money, look—it’s Real Madrid and Manchester United. They can pay him whatever he pleases. Playing time and money will not be an issue for either side. And who knows—maybe Bale plus one or two other big signings end up putting United over the top next season. It’s not all that ridiculous to imagine.
All of this is just the long version of Sure, this would probably make enough sense for Gareth Bale. He sure is hell ain’t going back to Tottenham. (It’s time to move on, folks).
Would this make sense for Manchester United?
Let me be more clear: No, this wouldn’t just make sense for Manchester United. This would make sense for literally every club in world football that could afford such a move. The only exception here might be Barcelona, who currently boast the scariest and most unfair three-headed attacking monster in the game.
But Manchester United? Of course. Any other Premier League side? Yes. Juventus? I can’t see why not. Paris Saint-Germain? I think you get the point.
If it’s possible to add Gareth Bale to your side, you do it. If a team is willing to negotiate over somebody that talented, you listen. You break the bank if you have to. Or if you can. He’s already strolled through the Premier League; now he’s a little older and significantly better. What’s going to stop him from doing so again? And if you’re worried about his age, don’t be. Bale only turns 28 in July. Just keep him healthy.
So if it wasn’t clear enough, yes, this move makes sense for United. I don’t care how many attackers they have. You don’t turn a player of Bale’s caliber down if there’s actually a semi-realistic shot of you acquiring him. It just won’t come cheap, but again, that’s not an issue.
Is this move likely to happen?
Likelier than I’d usually be comfortable admitting in regards to a player like this. With Atlético Madrid’s transfer ban almost certainly ruling out any sales of big-name talents (such as Antoine Griezmann) United most look elsewhere.
With a club of their stature, why not Gareth Bale?
Previous Rumors of the Week: