Man Utd prepare £100m Gareth Bale transfer bid for this summer
Louis van Gaal will be handed the funds to lure Gareth Bale to Manchester United this summer if the Wales winger signals an intention to leave Real Madrid.
With United standing to bank almost £100 million in extra earnings next season due to an anticipated return to the Champions League and the start of their world-record £750 million kit deal with Adidas, Van Gaal has been told that money will be made available to pursue Bale at any stage of the transfer window if he becomes available.
Failure to qualify for this season’s Champions League cost United up to £50 million in lost revenue – a figure they expect to reclaim should Van Gaal’s team secure the six points required from their final four Premier League fixtures to confirm a top-four finish.
And with the £75 million-a-year kit deal with Adidas due to start on Aug 1, replacing a Nike deal which was worth £28 million in the final year of the 13-year agreement, United’s commercial income will be boosted by almost £50 million as a result of their change of kit supplier.
With United’s off-field income growing to such an extent, the club are prepared to press ahead with their existing plans for recruitment and then move for Bale should they be presented with the opportunity to bid for him.
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale, right, gestures after he got injured as Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo
Van Gaal has already identified Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels as a priority target, with the Dutchman also keen to recruit PSV Eindhoven winger Memphis Depay and Southampton right-back Nathaniel Clyne.
United will attempt to conclude the bulk of their incoming transfers before the squad depart on the pre-season tour of the United States on July 13, but Bale’s uncertain future at Real has alerted Van Gaal and senior figures at Old Trafford to the prospect of the 25-year-old being allowed to leave the Bernabéu.
Bale, an £85 million signing from Tottenham in August 2013, retains the influential backing of Real president Florentino Pérez, who has defended the player against the criticism to which he has been subjected, including boos and whistles from the Spanish club’s own supporters.
The former Southampton youngster is also understood to be prepared to fight to win over his doubters in Madrid having enjoyed a hugely successful first season at the club during which he scored decisive goals in finals of both the Champions League and Copa del Rey.
United have maintained a long-standing interest in Bale, however, having initially failed to persuade him to reject Tottenham in order to move to Old Trafford on his departure from Southampton in 2007.
The club also made a late attempt to hijack his move from White Hart Lane to Real two years ago, when a £100 million bid by United failed to persuade Bale to reject a move to Madrid.
With Bale’s young family dividing their time between Madrid and Cardiff, there is a belief, not only at Old Trafford but within other leading Premier League clubs, that the Welshman will choose to resume his career in England at some stage.
And the difficulties experienced by the player in Madrid in recent months could yet prove the lever which may tempt him to consider a move to United.
But while United are prepared to win any race this summer to sign Bale, the future of goalkeeper David de Gea will not be linked to the Real player.
De Gea is continuing to resist United’s attempts to secure him to a new £200,000-a-week long-term contract, with the former Atlético Madrid keeper aware of Real’s willingness to take him to the Bernabéu.
With De Gea understood to be torn between extending his contract at United and returning to his home city, where his pop star girlfriend Edurne Garcia Almagro is based, Real have now begun to consider alternatives, such as Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris and Inter Milan goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.
Having endured two consecutive summers of uncertainty and disruption due to the managerial departures of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013 and his ill-fated successor, David Moyes, 12 months later, United are determined to restore stability to the club this summer.
And that plan extends to conducting transfer business early in the window in order for Van Gaal to be able to work with the core of his squad from the start of pre-season.