Gareth Bale's outspoken agent Jonathan Barnett has poured cold water on the latest reports linking the Welshman with a move to Manchester United.
According to a report in the Independent, Bale seriously considered a move to Old Trafford when the Red Devils launched a £100million bid for him in the summer. Since then, uncertainty about the club's future has convinced him to forget the idea for the time being.
Louis van Gaal appears to be one defeat away from the sack while there is a very real chance that they will not qualify for next season's Champions League, at least via the Premier League where they currently sit five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham. It has, according to that report, convinced Bale that he was right to stay at the Bernabeu.
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The story was interesting and included the claim that only Rafa Benitez convinced Bale to stay. We all enjoyed reading it, but, according to Barnett, it is completely untrue.
"The story is complete rubbish. We have never even discussed it," he told the Mail on Tuesday.
Bale has been in the viewfinder of Manchester United ever since he left Tottenham in 2013. They even tried to sign him before he joined Real Madrid, allegedly offering even more than their £86m bid, only to see the winger choose La Liga.
And, according to this new report, Bale is still living the dream with Los Blancos. Despite a disappointing season in the last campaign and an ongoing struggle to topple Barcelona as La Liga's dominant force, he still considers playing for Real Madrid as the pinnacle.
Ed Woodward may not wish to admit defeat, but it seems that money cannot buy you everything, especially humans. The fact remains that Bale simply does not want to move to Manchester United and, according to Barnett, he has never wavered from that feeling.
Manchester United are determined to make the kind of signing that will send shockwaves through Europe, but their pursuit of Bale hit an impasse in 2013 and it remains just as insurmountable today.