Manchester United still remain a long way off signing Jadon Sancho. The Borussia Dortmund star’s wages and agent fees currently pose a problem and, with a month to go, alternatives have been mooted. But, though they’ve interest in Kingsley Coman, Ousmane Dembele and Douglas Costa, Gareth Bale could be the ideal Plan B.
Manchester United have been trying to sign Sancho for weeks, now, only to find Borussia Dortmund holding firm.
As a result, the Red Devils have started looking at alternatives. And, so far, three names have been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford.
Coman is one of them, though Bayern Munich may be unwilling to sell the France international go in the wake of his Champions League final heroics against former club Paris Saint-Germain.
Costa is also under consideration, despite the Juventus star struggling last term – only finding the net three times.
And United also have interest in Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele, even though the 2018 World Cup winner has struggled with injuries in the three years since his move to the Nou Camp.
All three have their pros and cons. All three pale in comparison to Sancho, too.
But United should consider signing Bale instead. He’s been on their radar for years and, this summer, Real Madrid wouldn’t stand in his way.
THINK YOU KNOW SPORT? Test your sporting knowledge with our tricky quiz
The Red Devils were sure they were going to land the Wales international in the summer transfer window of 2013. However, despite outbidding Los Blancos, the forward opted to go to Spain instead.
In the years since, United have tried to bring him back to the Premier League.
Jose Mourinho wanted to recruit the Welshman during his time in charge and, in 2017, thought he stood a genuine chance.
However, Bale ended up staying at Real Madrid. Despite being a divisive figure among Bernabeu fans he’s happy at the club – though did recently open the door to a potential move away.
“If those options arise (interest from Premier League clubs) it is something I’d look at for sure,” he said.
“We’ll see what happens, we have plenty of time in this transfer window and a couple of others as well. Time will tell but mainly I think the reason is that the decision is in Real Madrid’s hands.
“I tried to leave last year but they blocked everything at the last second. It was a project I was excited for but it didn’t materialise.
Man Utd have already signed perfect Donny van de Beek partner in crime
Man Utd at risk of losing Bruno Fernandes and more one day – unless they take action now
What Man Utd chief Ed Woodward thinks about Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho
“There have been other instances where we have tried to go but the club won’t allow it or they’ve done something. It’s down to the club.”
Bale is hungry, too.
“I want to play football, I am still motivated to play football, so I guess it’s on the club. They are in control of everything. I have a contract, all I can do is carry on what I am doing and hopefully something comes up,” he said.
“I am only 31 still but I feel I am in great shape still and feel like I have a lot to give.
“We will see what happens. It’s in the club’s hands but they make things very difficult to be honest.”
Real would take a drastically reduced fee for Bale at this point, such is their determination to get him off the wage bill.
But the Wales international could be worth the £15.2million annual salary he earns at the Bernabeu if United were to come calling and get him back to the peak of his powers.
THINK YOU KNOW FOOTBALL? Football quiz questions and answers: 15 questions and answers for your home pub quiz
Bale, on his day, can be one of the best players in the world.
He was truly devastating at Tottenham during his last spell on these shores, scoring 26 goals from 44 appearances in his final season at White Hart Lane.
And, at Real, he’s scored in two Champions League finals – as well as making the difference in the Copa del Rey final in 2014.
Out of all the players out there, he could be the shrewdest signing. United will know that, if they can get him back to his best, they stand a genuine shot at the Premier League title.
And, furthermore, it would also rile Tottenham and Mourinho.
Spurs have long dreamed of signing Bale back but, from an economic standpoint, they have no chance. He’s out of their reach, big time.
But United can get one over on them and sign a blockbuster performer in the process. It would be a gamble given his decline over the past two years but he could still be their ticket to the title they crave most.