Manchester United are looking at the possibility of signing Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the summer transfer window, according to Sky Sports pundit Graham Hunter.
The Real Madrid duo joined the Spanish giants for a combined fee of over £160 million, but all is not well between the pair this season.
Both have endured goalless streaks in 2015, while Ronaldo was seemingly unhappy when Bale broke his duck against Levante at the weekend. Madrid have sacrificed their lead to Barcelona at the top of La Liga while boss Carlo Ancelotti has come in for criticism.
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Manchester United could try and use the uncertainty at Real Madrid to target Bale and Ronaldo - two players they have been heavily linked with in the past. Ronaldo left Old Trafford in 2008 in a deal worth £80 million, but a return has been mooted on plenty of occasions since.
Bale meanwhile was the subject of a bid from Manchester United before he left Spurs to head to Spain, and the Red Devils have also been credited with an interest in him this season.
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Speaking to Sky's La Liga Weekly, Hunter said: it was too soon to know whether the deals could ever happen, but insisted that the interest in the pair from Manchester United, as well as their rivals Manchester City, was real.
"Beyond August is a very, very big question. That’s because, one, I think there’s nothing to report now in that neither is (Real Madrid manager Carlo) Ancelotti sacked, nor is Ronaldo sold, nor has Bale decided to leave.
“But there is a very clear opinion among the two Manchester clubs, and I mean City as well as United, that they think they have an opportunity to come and buy Ronaldo.
“Honestly, my opinion is we have to wait and see because I think he (Ronaldo) will be tempted. He will be asked by both Manchester clubs. I think that goes for Bale too. It has been a talking point amongst the Manchester City players for a great part of the last 10 days.”
It is unlikely that Manchester United or Manchester City would go after both players in the same summer, however they remain open to the option of signing either. The Red Devils splashed more than £150 million in the last summer transfer window, while City had to reign in their spending after being hit with a Financial Fair Play fine.
Manchester United threw money at their problems last time round and it didn't work, so doing the same again this time round would be foolish. Ronaldo is now 30-years-old, would command a huge fee and wages which could be used towards building a team rather than bringing in an individual.
Bale may be the more attractive option for Manchester United fans but he won't give up on his Spanish dream that easily. As it stands, the liklihood of either being in the Premier League next season is small.