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News of Real Madrid finally making a concrete move for Kylian Mbappe has sent the transfer window into a spiral with Monaco likely to pocket £161 million in total from any deal to sell the teenage forward.
Both Los Blancos and Manchester City are in the running with the up-front fee more than likely to be £143 million with a further £18 million in bonus payments due at a later date.
Speculation linking Pep Guardiola’s City to a move looks set to give the forward a difficult decision to make with regards to who he joins although it is understood he favours a switch to the Spanish capital, a club he has long been a supporter of.
Mbappe in, Bale out?
Yet with Mbappe likely to arrive at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu this summer there is all of a sudden a wave of reports linking Gareth Bale with a move away from the club.
This stems from a Spanish report on Tuesday evening that intimated that in order to finance a move for the teenage sensation, one of the famed, Benzema, Bale and Cristiano trio would need to be sold.
Bale appears the most likely to lose his place in the starting line-up on a regular basis with this having actually started to happen last term and thus reports are now emerging that suggest Jose Mourinho will eventually get the winger he desires in the form of the Welsh international.
Unfortunately for Manchester United supporters, this is incredibly unlikely to happen, at least this summer.
Zidane a huge fan
Zinedine Zidane is a huge advocate of Bale’s talent and attitude to being a professional footballer and was actually the driving force behind the club’s move for the 28-year-old when he left Tottenham Hotspur in 2013.
There is a feeling from the Real Madrid camp that when he is fully fit Bale will almost always be utilised in the starting eleven by Zidane and that it was only major fitness concerns which saw him lose his place to Isco at the back end of the 2016/17 campaign.
Bale also remains a star in the eyes of Florentino Perez with the Welshman the club’s last record breaking signing and it remains to be seen whether or not a move would be sanctioned for an asset the club fought so hard for.
Bale to United stories have become tiresome in the sense they appear every single summer even when it is clear there is no traction to them. Early on in his LaLiga career it is a well known fact that Bale struggled to adapt and adjust but his contributions on the pitch have been consistently excellent, albeit in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo.
This is something that would have been nearly impossible to avoid mind you with a similar scenario unfolding at the Camp Nou with Neymar and Lionel Messi.
United on a solid footing, but Bale settled in Madrid
Manchester United are on a solid footing for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure.
Jose Mourinho has instilled a mentality within his squad that makes winning trophies a possibility once more and the club find themselves qualified for the group phase of the Champions League already.
They can compete in the transfer market for the very best players now and for the first time Gareth Bale would not be making a calamitous step-down in moving to Old Trafford. Of course with that being said he has no desire to leave at this moment in time, he has forged a career in Madrid and has been very successful.
It would be a surprise if Mbappe didn’t displace one of Benzema or Bale by the time we hit Christmas but it seems as though it will take a year of Bale not being first choice before both he and the club decide a move is necessary, a little like James Rodriguez’s situation at the club from last summer when it was clear he would need to depart.
Manchester United will always be ready to make a move for the former Southampton star with Ed Woodward seeing him as the absolute prime ‘Galactico’ signing for the club to make.
A transfer fee wouldn’t be too much of an issue in this case although it is clear United will not go to the lengths that PSG and Real Madrid are prepared to in order to sign Neymar and Mbappe respectively.
Not totally impossible, but still highly unlikely
Obviously it would be foolish to say point blank that Gareth Bale will 100% not leave Real Madrid this summer given how quickly things can change within a transfer window, however it is clear that such a departure is incredibly unlikely.
Many will point towards Manchester United’s move for Ivan Perisic stalling over what appears to be nothing more than £2-3 million as a sign that the club are clearly working on something else, however that is not believed to be the case.
It must also be noted that Real Madrid have already brought £96 million into the club this summer through the sales of Alvaro Morata and Danilo whilst Rodriguez’s annual salary has been mostly covered by Bayern Munich’s loan fee.
Bale less effective, but should still be around at least one more year
Financially, the club are in a position to sign Mbappe for what would seem a minimal initial outlay when you factor in the funds already recouped this summer. It would seem excessive if another player had to be forced out in order to afford the Frenchman.
It has not gone unnoticed though that Bale’s effectiveness dropped last year.
In La Liga he managed just 17 starts and added just seven goals and two assists. Fitness was the main contributing factor in this drop but at 28 it is something the club will take into consideration.
There is a long way to go until the end of the current transfer window and there will be more stories which link Bale away from Spain however unless something dramatic changes then it is likely he will spend at least one more year at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Written by Chris Winterburn
Follow Chris on Twitter @cmwinterburn
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