Man United must start to consider alternatives as Gareth Bale raises his price-tag

It will be remembered as arguably the greatest goal in a Champions League final, certainly in a similar bracket to Zinedine Zidane’s famous left-footed volley, and it was a reminder of not only Gareth Bale’s quality, but also how he has an incredible knack for producing the goods in big games. During an injury-plagued spell with Real Madrid, the Welshman has still scored in two Champions League finals and a Copa del Rey final. For any player in any era, that’s an impressive return.

For reported suitors Manchester United, Bale’s stunning bicycle kick just moments after coming on from the bench will only have increased the appeal of signing him this summer. United struggled for results against big six opposition during the first half of the season and although it improved during the second, they lost a tight and cagey 1-0 affair with Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

Jose Mourinho’s side still seem to lack that clinical, individualistic brilliance his pragmatic football has always relied on, which is exactly what Bale showed on Saturday – coming on from the bench in the 61st minute, he scored two goals and created one chance from just 16 touches.

Gareth Bale's stats from the Champions League final

Yet, there is no doubt Bale’s wondergoal will have affected his price-tag. His media profile alone has reached another peak, paralleling when he became the world-record signing in 2013, and although it’s believed Zidane would be open to parting with the winger this summer, Real Madrid are no fools when it comes to getting the right money for their departures. President Florentino Perez will be only too aware of how a stunning strike on the biggest possible stage has enhanced his value.

And therein lies the problem. If Bale had been available this summer for a comparatively reasonable sum, perhaps the £63million value attributed to him on Transfermarkt, he would arguably be worth the gamble for a club like United in spite of his injury problems. But assuming that goal has added to Bale’s price-tag, how much can the Red Devils really afford to pay for a 28-year-old winger who has missed almost a full year (326 days) of his Real Madrid career through injuries, suffering at least three during the last three seasons?

That educated gamble suddenly becomes an incredibly risky one, considering United could spend the same on another forward who may not be as big a name or as talented, but can be depended on to start practically every game. Would you still swoop for Bale this summer, United fans? Let us know by voting below…