Manchester United will have to cough up £1 billion if they want to lure Gareth Bale from Real Madrid, according to Spanish journalist Guillem Balague.
The Welshman has a clause for the eye-watering fee written into his contract - however Balague adds that reports of any interest from the Red Devils is false.
He wrote earlier this morning: "Bale's buy out clause is £1b. Not sure where the stories about Manchester United come from, but I understand there is no truth in it."
Manchester United have indeed been heavily linked with Bale in recent weeks, are are said to be readying a record-breaking bid in the region of £90 million to lure him away from the Bernabeu. It was even claimed over the weekend that the former Tottenham player was keen on returning to the Premier League and was open to heading to Old Trafford.
Even if that were the case then Real Madrid are unlikely to be willing to sell a player they broke the transfer record for just last year.
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Bale once more proved his worth to his team when he bagged a goal in Real Madrid's 2-0 Club World Cup final against San Lorenzo, after Sergio Ramos had opened the scoring. The 24-year-old can add that goal to strikes in the finals of the Copa de Rey and the Champions League last season.
Real Madrid's current form is another reason for Bale not to leave Spain as well; Los Blancos have won their last 22 games in a row, and manager Carlo Ancelotti believes that Bale's goal in the Copa del Rey final was the inspiration that sparked their current unbeaten run.
He said: "Winning that cup gave us confidence for winning later the Champions [League], Super Cup and this one. I think the key moment was that final in Valencia and later the team kept on improving every day and every match.
'I am very happy because I think we can keep winning matches and extend the run we are on.
All that means Manchester United will most likely have to look elsewhere to spend their cash in the transfer window in order to land a major star. The Red Devils have been in pursuit of Bale for some time now and actually tried to lure him to Old Trafford when it became apparent that he was leaving Tottenham.