After a summer rife with rumours about his future has seen Gareth Bale declare that he wants one more season with Real Madrid if he is to leave the Spanish capital. Jeered by sections of the Bernabeu during Sunday’s 2 – 2 draw with Valencia, the Welshman remains firmly in head coach Zinedine Zidane’s plans.
However, the 28-year-old attacking midfielder could be deemed surplus to requirements if the phenomenal development of Marco Ascensio continues. The 22-year-old scored both Real’s goals at the weekend and is eulogised in the pro-Madrid press. Bale by contrast is being criticised for his performances which are seen in some quarters as increasingly erratic and self-centred according to the Manchester Evening News.
They claim Marca, the Spanish football daily with close ties to the Bernabeu hierarchy, are actively promoting the sale of Bale, with Manchester United leading the way. Jose Mourinho is a long-term admirer of the pacey winger and the odds of Bale signing for Manchester United this summer are 3/1.
The situation is complicated by the form of Marcus Rashford, 20, and Anthony Martial, 21. The latter was heavily lined with a move away from Old Trafford earlier in the summer but proved his worth to Mourinho with his early season form.
Rashford, meanwhile, is said to be of interest to Barcelona but the Catalans are not looking to tempt him to the Camp Nou until next year.
Mourino declared he needed four new players this transfer window and landed them if you count the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 35. However, the chance to land Bale will surely not be spurned by the Portuguese. Could that yet happen?