With the Premier League season quickly approaching, the rumors swirling of Gareth Bale leaving Real Madrid for Manchester United are not ceasing. Despite the emphatic denials by the Spanish titans, United continue their quest for the elite winger.
According to John Richardson of the Express, the bounty from Angel di Maria's impending exit to Paris Saint Germain, which reports state is in the neighborhood of £44 million, has provided Louis van Gaal with the additional funds to pursue a forward from La Liga. Combined with the potential move of David de Gea from Old Trafford to Santiago Bernabeu, there might be enough dialogue between the two European powers to make a blockbuster transfer happen. If United can't land Bale, they may turn to Real Madrid's top rival. Yet, it's the former Tottenham star that seems to top Van Gaal's wish list.
But the chances of Bale joining United remain slim. While Real Madrid have more superstar turnover than any club in the world, Bale is only 26 years old and has only been with the club since 2013. He is considered a player in his prime on a club that always wants to win now and has little consideration about rebuilding. The price tag on Bale is also staggering, with reports that he could cost up to €136 million. Apparel brand Adidas have a deal with United for £750 million over 10 years, which could help facilitate the move, Richardson notes.
The Bale rumors continue to linger, it seems, because of comments from United's contentious manager. Van Gaal has already stated that he could make a “surprise” signing to bolster the attack before the transfer window closes. Some have suggested that the forward in question would come from Real Madrid, with either Cristiano Ronaldo or Bale.
Another possibility is Pedro, who has a release clause with Barcelona of £22 million. The versatile forward joined the Catalans at the age of 17, and has over 200 appearances with the club along with 58 goals. Yet, with Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar leading a seemingly unstoppable attack, Pedro may have no choice but to accept the same fate of David Villa and Alexis Sanchez, and leave Nou Camp. Pedro, who turned 28 last week, would be a fine consolation prize should Van Gaal miss out on Bale.
Spanish publication Marca reported on Friday that Pedro could leave Barcelona after the UEFA Super Cup match against Sevilla on Aug. 11.
In other news, Daily Star reports that right back Rafael could exit Old Trafford for Lyon on a £7-million deal. The 25-year-old Brazilian had shown great potential since his arrival with twin brother Fabio in Jan. 2008. However, Rafael never quite filled the shoes of Gary Neville under Sir Alex Ferguson, and his playing time under David Moyes and Van Gaal dwindled. With Ferguson gone and Fabio moving on to Cardiff City in 2014, Rafael's future with the Red Devils remains curious.