Jose Mourinho will make another attempt to sign Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, according to reports.
Both the Daily Mirror and The Guardian claim Manchester United have targeted the 28-year-old Wales man, who has been beset with injury problems of late.
The former Spurs winger has missed 40 of Real’s last 60 games through injury and he has not featured for Real since September after struggling with a calf problem. Now Bale has picked up a thigh injury and is not expected back until the end of the month and it appears enough is enough for Real.
Real are understood to be ready to offload the player, who is contracted until 2022, and who cost a then world-record £85million in September 2013 from Tottenham.
Reports from Spain and Diario Gol this week claimed Spurs were ready to bid £60million to bring Bale back to the Premier League, and they do have a first option buy-back clause on Bale that expires in summer 2019.
Whether Spurs could afford his wages remains debatable with Bale currently earning about £350,000 a week after tax for sitting in the Bernabeu treatment room.
United though have tried to sign Bale before and in the summer Mourninho went public on the club’s hopes to sign the player. He said he would be “fighting with the other coaches who would like to have him on their team” if he became available.
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That door was quickly slammed shut after the Super Cup clash between United and Real Madrid with Mourinho admitting it was “game over” in United’s attempts to sign Bale.
“I think so – clearly the club wants him and he wants the club – game over even before it started – everybody knows he is going to stay,” said Mourinho in August.
United and Mourinho though remain keen on Bale and his injury record could spell the end of his time in Spain with Mourinho convinced he can do a better job of keeping Bale fit.
The Guardian claims: “United are encouraged by Bale’s better appearance record when at Tottenham Hotspur and believe they could return him to a similar level of games.”
United believe their handling of Bale will allow him to keep fit for longer and they are hopeful they can get him back to his time at Tottenham, when he was rarely injured.
Any move for Bale is likely to happen in the summer, while the fee is expected to be around the £85million mark, despite a €500m release clause in his deal.