David Moyes has denied that Manchester United are the club to have rivaled Real Madrid’s bid to sign Gareth Bale, but did not rule out the possibility of moving for the Tottenham attacker. Bale’s long-anticipated record transfer to Madrid was expected to go through early this week, but appears to have been delayed with various publications reporting that Tottenham have received an offer from another unnamed club.
Given that the Premier League champions have been linked with Bale for much of the summer, many observers assumed that the club in question was United. While Moyes eventually said “no” in response to questions of whether a bid had emanated from Old Trafford, he was initially evasive in his comments made following his side’s goalless draw with Chelsea.
“I said at the start that Manchester United will always be interested in the best players and we'll always be looking to try and improve the team,” he told Sky Sports. "The owners have given me every opportunity to get who I want so we'll continue to look for those players. It's been tough in this window but we're always looking at the best players."
Despite Moyes’s remarks, The Guardian believes that there is interest from Old Trafford. However, while Tottenham hope to use United to extract more money from Madrid, Bale has a long-held desire to join the Spanish giants.
Moyes’ comments do suggest that he is still looking to strengthen his squad before the close of the transfer window. One of the players that may well be an option is Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil. The German is said to be one of the players unhappy with the salary reported to have been offered to Bale. The prospective new signing’s presence could also put Ozil’s place in the team under threat.
According to ESPN, Ozil’s agent has also been after a pay rise. Certainly the attacking midfielder did not appear overly contented when he headed straight down the tunnel after being taken off during Madrid’s 1-0 win at Granada on Monday evening.
Ozil’s signing would be a strange one for Manchester United, however, given the presence in the squad of Shinji Kagawa. Certainly their needs would appear to lie deeper in midfield. In that regard, Moyes has targeted a man he knows well in Marouane Fellaini. A £28 million joint bid was recently rejected for Fellaini and his Everton teammate Leighton Baines.
That bid and some of Moyes’s subsequent comments have fractured relations between the clubs. According to the Daily Telegraph, Untied believe Everton are more likely to acquiesce to the departure of Fellaini, rather than Baines, and are set to make a £20 million offer for the versatile Belgian midfielder.
There was also speculation earlier in the summer that Moyes was looking to recruit a center-back, with Benfica’s Ezequiel Garay strongly linked. With that transfer seemingly no longer a possibility, Portuguese publication A Bola has claimed that United are interested in Porto’s Eliaquim Mangala.
Representatives from Barcelona as well as United are said to have been in attendance for Porto’s match with Maritimo on Sunday. Mangala moved to Porto from Standard Liege in 2011 and made his debut for France earlier this year.