There are not many subjects in life that you would turn to Lee Sharpe for advice on, but left-sided midfielders might just be one of them. After all, he did watch Ryan Giggs up close for five years.

Speaking on MUTV this week, 41-year-old Sharpe was quick to suggest who would be his top transfer target this summer.

"I would buy Bale," said Sharpe. "I think he’s slowly turning into the next Cristiano Ronaldo.

"I’m not quite sure if he’s got the footwork and trickery but he has pace, power and, with his set-plays and finishing ability, I think he’s a phenomenal player.

"If we (Manchester United) could go out and buy anybody, it would be him."

Sharpe is the latest in a long line of plaudits for the young Welshman, who has continued to catch the eye with a string of fine performances, including scoring nine of Tottenham’s last 12 goals.

Bale has been linked with a big-money move to Real Madrid and United will surely be interested should he become available at any point.

Sir Alex Ferguson made an approach for Bale when he left Southampton for White Hart Lane back in 2007 but any move now will be difficult as the relationship between the two clubs is fraught.

Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy threatened to report United to the FA over their approach for Dimitar Berbatov back in 2008 before selling on transfer deadline for £30m, and was unwilling to discuss terms over Luka Modric, instead selling to Real Madrid.

Ferguson then accused Levy of underhand tactics back in January when they moved for former United player Zeki Fryers. Spurs attempted to sign Fryers in the summer but were not willing to pay the compensation, believed to be £6m. Fryers joined Belgian club Standard Liege, who did not have to pay the same level of compensation, only to join Tottenham when the next transfer window opened for a fraction of the original cost.


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