If Manchester United still retained nay hope of signing £120million-rated Gareth Bale in the foreseeable future, then the latest comments from Carlo Ancelotti could well have crushed the last of them.
According to the Daily Star, the Old Trafford club have a retained a long-term interest in the Wales international since he made his world-record £85million switch from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid in 2013.
"I have no doubt - if Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale are fit, they will always play" - Ancelotti
With sections of fans at the Santiago Bernabeu beginning to turn against Bale this season - for a perceived greediness in his play - there were suggestions that the 25-year-old could find solace in a £120million pound move back to the Premier League.
That now looks rather unlikely following the way Ancelotti was talking about him following questions about fans' unhappiness. The former Chelsea and AC Milan boss insisted that he was happy with Bale was doing for the team and that he has been playing well.
Bale has formed a fearsome attacking trio with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in the Spanish capital since his move there and Ancelotti insisted they were undroppable from the first times and, as long as they were fit, they would always be picked.
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"He is doing all he can to help. Just like he did last year, scoring in three finals. He's having a fantastic season," the Italian tactician is quoted as saying by Spanish publication Marca, when quizzed about the Bale discontent.
Ancelotti's ringing endorsement of the attacking trio, known as 'The BBC', was about as high praise as one can get from their manager: "I have no doubt - if Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale are fit, they will always play."
Madrid Fans Getting it Wrong
Despite jeers, whistles and boos from fans when playing at the Bernabeu after every minor error or poor decision, Bale is actually doing very well for Real Madrid. In 17 La Liga appearances this season he has scored ten times and laid on assists for teammates on five separate occasions.
His pace and power mean he is not only causing problems on the ball; in the 4-1 win over David Moyes' Real Sociedad at the weekend - which GiveMeSport were at - his movement was dragging defenders around and creating space for his teammates - James Rodriguez's equalising goal being a good example.
Man Utd Need a Re-Think
So, if Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has ambitions of snapping up the attacker in the coming summer, which the Daily Star report suggests could well be the case, then they had better hope there is a drastic change in the situation between now and the end of the season.