Louis van Gaal is convinced that Manchester United still have a chance of signing Real Madrid star Gareth Bale this summer, reports the Daily Mail.
Both he and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward are licking their wounds following Pedro's decision to join Chelsea, but they both remain confident of landing a marquee name before the window closes in 11 days.
With Manchester United on the brink of qualifying for the Champions League proper, beating Club Brugge 3-1 in the first leg on Tuesday, Van Gaal believes the Red Devils will find it easier to attract high-profile players to Old Trafford.
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The Dutchman told close friends that Bale can be persuaded to return to the Premier League after just two seasons at the Bernabeu. Now 26-years-old, the Welshman is considered the holy grail for Van Gaal; the player who can take them from title contenders to title winners.
But Bale plays for the only club in the world boasting a bigger bank balance than Manchester United. Even worse, club president Florentino Perez does not want to sell Bale. And, worst of all, Real Madrid officials aren't getting on too well with the hard-nosed Woodward.
His refusal to sell David de Gea for less than a world-record fee has left Real Madrid incredulous at times and fatalistic at others. There is still some doubt as to whether De Gea would play for Manchester United this season if he stays, but the price tag remains at £35million.
The mega bids
The Premier League outfit have already launched two £100m bids for Bale this summer, according to a sensational report in The Sun, but both were knocked back by Los Blancos.
Manchester United are unlikely to go any higher and would need Bale to give a clear indication that he no longer wants to stay at Real Madrid.
Their only hope is if the Bernabeu crowd continue to boo him in their opening La Liga games. However, as Perez is, Bale is determined to make his dream move a success.