In Focus: Man United likely to play a waiting game over Gareth Bale

According to reports in Spanish media outlet Diario Gol, Manchester United only face competition from Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the race to sign Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, but his €90m (approximately £79.2m right now) price tag could prove to be an issue.

What’s the word, then?

Well, Diario Gol says that Real are willing to let the injury-hit attacker – who has missed 250 days since joining the La Liga giants in 2013 – leave the Bernabeu, but he will only leave for one of Europe’s biggest clubs and not many of those are willing to pay the money that president Florentino Perez wants for the Wales international.

Diario Gol says that Perez wants to €90m (approximately £79.2m) to let the 28-year-old leave, but no one is willing to pay that fee.

The report adds that the only two clubs willing to make offers below that amount are the Red Devils and Spurs, with the former not willing to negotiate until the price is reduced and the latter only willing to pay €60m (approximately £52.8m right now).

How has Bale done this season?

The Welshman’s injury problems have meant that he has been limited to just 10 outings so far this term, in which he has scored three goals and provided a further five assists.

The 29-year-old has already suffered from calf and thigh problems during the current campaign, and despite playing 28 minutes as a substitute and picking up two assists against Fuenlabrada in the cup last month, he suffered recurrence of the calf issue which has kept him on the sidelines since.

Would he be a good signing for United?

He certainly would be, as long as he was fit on a regular basis.

Given his injury record it is no wonder that they aren’t willing to pay around £80m for Bale’s services, but Jose Mourinho will also be well aware of the difference he could make for them in the final third because of his versatility and quality.

The Wales international’s pace, dribbling ability, strength in the air and all-round goal threat would make him a superb addition, but United will be hoping Real lower their demands either during the January transfer window or next summer to make a deal possible.