Manchester United are ready to launch a £75million bid for Real Madrid star Gareth Bale in an attempt to bring the Welshman back to the Premier League this month, according to the Daily Mail.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has been desperate to sign a global star since taking over from David Gill in 2013 and has long placed Gareth Bale at the top of his wish list.
Up until now, Bale has been happy to stay at Real Madrid with the Spanish club also keen to keep him at the Bernabeu, but Zinedine Zidane's appointment as manager, replacing Rafa Benitez, has given United their best chance of bagging Bale to date.
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The former Tottenham man has reportedly been left disappointed by Florentino Perez's decision to let Benitez go as the Spaniard had given him a prominent role in the team. There is a feeling that if Zidane changes Bale's role, he will look to leave.
And Manchester United are best placed to sign him. They are willing to spend a British record £75m and will also match his £300,000-a-week wages. Only Manchester City and Chelsea could compete with that, but it is claimed in the same report that Old Trafford is Bale's favoured destination.
The Giggs factor
That may be in some part down to the presence of Ryan Giggs, who is one of Bale's boyhood heroes and is believed to be the man to succeed Louis van Gaal.
Giggs has been charged with the task of convincing Bale that he can achieve everything he wants to with the Red Devils. To Bale, playing for Real Madrid is the pinnacle and United have done little to suggest they can match them in the post-Alex Ferguson era.
Zidane himself has already spoken about Bale, saying publically that he plans to use the forward in the same way that his predecessor did.
"Gareth was disappointed with the sacking of Rafa because he was an important coach for him, but I will treat him the same way Rafa did," said Zidane.
"He is an important player and a key player for the squad. He's phenomenal and we're going to give him all the care and support he needs."
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