Gareth Bale rejected a £100 million move to Manchester United because of the uncertainty that surrounded the club, according to the Independent.
The Welshman has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford for some time now, and the Independent say that he seriously considered a move last summer. The Red Devils made an offer to break the world transfer record with a £100 million bid, only to be turned down because Bale felt as though the club was in a state of flux.
He was also convinced to stay by then-manager Rafa Benitez, with whom the former Tottenham winger shared a close relationship with before the Spaniard's departure. How Madrid's decision to replace Benitez with Zinedine Zidane will affect Bale's future remains to be seen.
There's a chance that Woodward will go back in for Bale this summer with a similar offer, and the Independent say that a 'cogent' plan is required in order to persuade the 26-year-old that his future should be at Old Trafford.
The situation at Manchester United has deteriorated since the summer offer, with reports circulating that the Dutch coach could be about to quit having already attempted to resign, only to be rebuffed by Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
The ideal scenario for Woodward would be for Van Gaal to remain in place until the summer, when he can replace the Dutchman with a long-term solution such as Pep Guardiola.
That may not be possible though, and following the 1-0 defeat against Southampton on Saturday, the pressure is on Van Gaal to quit. Reports this morning say that he will meet with Woodward this afternoon, and there's a chance he could leave today.
Another obstacle ahead of any potential world record transfer is Real Madrid's transfer ban, although the club are reportedly confident of using the appeal process to delay the suspension and allow them to do business in the summer.