Although he enjoyed an absolutely splendid run of form in the Premier League for Andre Villas-Boas' Tottenham Hotspur, nevertheless many were still stunned by the eye-watering £85 million fee Real Madrid lavished to secure the services of Gareth Bale during the summer.
With scintillating pace, incredible stamina and a real talent for producing quite spectacular goals, Bale's ability cannot be in question. However, in the current difficult financial climate, such fans were rightly flummoxed by such an exorbitant fee.
If people were in disbelief at that summer move, then they are likely to be positively bewildered by reports that surfaced last weekend that suggested that Premier League champions Manchester United could be poised to offer a staggering €100 million in order to bring him back to the English top-flight.
This is a potential deal that, in my opinion, would represent an enormous error of judgement from both United and indeed Bale himself.
The Welshman has struggled for form and fitness since moving to the Santiago Bernabeu, but that is hardly a surprise given that the protracted saga that surrounded his world-record switch from Real Madrid essentially robbed him of any sort of productive pre-season campaign.
To give up on a move he clearly regards as a dream after just one injury-plagued season would demonstrate a disappointing lack of character and, despite being moved on for a similarly hefty fee, he would unavoidably be subsequently characterised as the biggest flop that the footballing world has ever known.
Such pressure would only increase dramatically were he to arrive at Old Trafford for an even larger sum.
Despite Bale previously having proved a resounding success at Premier League level, with a short and sorry episode at Real behind him and an unwanted reputation as a 'bottler' to contend with, he would be by no means certain to replicate that kind of form and would face the realistic and altogether daunting prospect of having failed not once, but twice having cost in excess of a whopping £150 million.
Such a move would smack of desperation from United and particularly new boss David Moyes.
The Scot has endured a rather frustrating and wholly underwhelming start to his first campaign in the Old Trafford dugout and if things continue to move along as inconsistently as they have begun, then it is obvious that he will need to attempt to appease fans and significantly bolster his own reputation by doing his upmost to attract a high-profile target or two.
However, such a bold move for Bale is not the answer. If Moyes really does have that sort of money at his disposal during the summer, then it should be used far more wisely by investing it on strengthening several areas of the team with a number of solid purchases - not just one massive gamble that could have serious repercussions for his own future.
United desperately need to strengthen their current squad if they are to have any hope of succeeding under Moyes, that much should have become increasingly evident to even the most ardent fan.
However a deal for Bale - particularly at such an excessive and downright ludicrous fee - could potentially be disastrous for both the player and the club.
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