Manchester United have launched a stunning £117 million bid to sign Real Madrid star Gareth Bale, reports the Daily Star.
Citing claims from Spanish journalist Miguel Angel Diaz, the British tabloid says the Red Devils have met Louis van Gaal's demands by opening talks to complete a world record deal in the January transfer window.
However, the same report also believes that Real Madrid have every intention of rejecting the offer unless Bale himself makes a personal request for the club to accept it. It would effectively be a transfer request and would give president Florentino Perez a reason to accept it.
The record breaker
Bale, 25, joined Real Madrid in a record £86 million move from Tottenham Hotspur only 18 months ago and they currently have no plans to offload the Welshman, even for profit. But the chance to make almost £30 million on a man Carlo Ancelotti has, at times, struggled to find a place in his team for, could be tempting.
The news comes only hours after numerous reports claimed Van Gaal had told Manchester United non-executive vice president Ed Woodward to sign Bale in the forthcoming transfer window. The Red Devils had previously told Van Gaal that no player was financially out of reach as their commercial strength continues to reap huge funds.
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While the likes of Mats Hummels and Kevin Strootman would be significant signings and help to strengthen weak areas in the Manchester United team, Bale would be the next marquee addition. It would follow barely six months on from Angel Di Maria's record breaking £59.7 million move from Real Madrid.
"I discuss that with my CEO and not anyone from the media"
Van Gaal was asked about his reported interest in Bale in this evening's press conference and refused to rule out a bid in the near future. Instead, he said he would not be able to discuss transfer business with the press.
He said, as quoted in the same report: I cannot discuss that with you. I discuss that with my CEO and not anyone from the media."