Manchester United have no hope of signing Gareth Bale next year - unless the Welshman demands a move from the Bernabeu.
The Red Devils have been linked with a record-breaking swoop for the 24-year-old in recent weeks, and certainly have the cash to make the deal happen. However a move has always seemed unlikely given the success Bale has had at Real Madrid since he joined from Tottenham in 2013.
It has been suggested that Manchester United will try and make him the most expensive player in the history of the game for a second time by offering Los Blancos a stunning £90 million deal.
It was also claimed that they tried to sign Bale before, only to be rejected by the player himself. Now it seems as though Manchester United are back in for the Welsh international and could offer £90 million - however Sky Sports' Spanish football expert Graham Hunter says the rumours are wide of the mark, for the time being at least.
“You cannot stop Manchester United aspiring to sign Gareth Bale,” Hunter told Revista de la Liga. “They (Man Utd) have the budget, they tried to sign him, he turned them down when joining Real Madrid. It will not happen unless he goes to Real Madrid and says: ‘Me and my family are not happy here.’
“But that is not the case at the moment, so I think for (now) United can forget it. In the future, maybe, but stories are just stories at the moment.
“There is more to come from him. He is not playing as a complete team footballer at the moment - with all his duties - as he was last season, but he keeps winning them games. And if he does what he did last season and wins them more trophies, then why should he leave?”
Manchester United are expected to spend big in 2015 as Louis van Gaal continues to rebuild his squad, but the money is more likely to be spent in the summer window.
"We are not looking to enter the market for short-term fixes," executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said last month. "However we have targets we are looking at for next summer. Should any of them become available in January, which is obviously rare, we will consider acting.
"But I think in terms of expectation setting, we all need to recognise that is a low probability."
Having splashed more than £150 million over the summer, Manchester United are starting to see some of that spending pay off, with Louis van Gaal's side making it six Premier League wins in a row with a 3-0 victory over Liverpool on Sunday.