Is Gareth Bale headed to Manchester United? That is what recent rumors are claiming regarding the Welsh superstar.
Bale, who has been recently shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or, has been linked with a move to the Red Devils this past week after his “slow” start to the 2014-15 season with Real Madrid.
The Welshman has scored four goals and assisted on three tallies in the Spanish League this season, but he has not looked as dominant as many have expected. There have been a number of times where he has been dormant for long stretches of a game. However, he has had a knack for finding the net in crucial moments for Madrid.
This is not exactly the same level that Madrid fans witnessed from Bale a year ago. The superstar got off to a slow start due to a diminished preseason, but once he got going with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, the trio was virtually unstoppable.
He scored the game-winners in the Champions League and Copa del Rey finals. Throughout the 2013-14 season, he was allowed to utilize his blazing speed on the right flank, thus keeping players away from Benzema and Ronaldo.
But this year has been a bit difficult. Bale has been unable to utilize it often due to constant double-teaming from opposing defenses.
Moreover, James Rodriguez and Isco have looked terrific on the flanks in the last few games, putting Bale’s position in the starting lineup in doubt. Or is it? Would Madrid really sell its $100 million man?
At 25, Bale is still young and entering his prime years. The team is going to have to learn to live without Ronaldo at some point and Bale is the man to make that happen. He has the athleticism, hunger, strength, intelligence and goal scoring abilities to become the team’s next franchise player. And he has a knack for coming up big in big games.
More importantly, the team is not going to sell him after splurging so much cash on him a year ago. If he were failing to live up to standards, it would be understandable. But he scored two game-winners in the finals. There is simply no way that he is going to be let go that quickly.
More importantly, where would Manchester United fit him in? The team is already clogged up with a plethora of midfielders and forwards. What happens to Adnan Januzaj, Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney, Falcao, Robin Van Persie?
There are undoubtedly a lot of players on that team that are likely to go at some point in the near future. Mata cannot seem to escape transfer rumors. Van Persie is 32 and might be having some problems with manager Louis Van Gaal. Falcao is not signed to a contract just yet. And Rooney? He is always in the transfer rumor mill.
So fitting Bale would probably not be a major issue. And for United, it would be the next best thing to get Ronaldo to return. Few will forget how Bale dominated the Premier League in his final season with Tottenham Hotspur. He was crowned the MVP of the league for his terrific goal-scoring pace and unforgettable display of prowess.
Of course what might not make sense is the price. Madrid invested over $100 million in Bale and it is highly unlikely that the team sells him for less than that. United went on a record spending splurge this past offseason, but paying that price for Bale would probably supersede everything the team just paid this past transfer window.
But would Bale finally want to leave Madrid, a team that is a favorite to win the Spanish League and Champions League? Would he really leave a top team to go play for a side that is not close to competing for the Champions League and is arguably not even in the upper echelon of English teams?
Is that the right play for Manchester United? How about Real Madrid? Is it the Spanish side’s best interest to get rid of a player that has already delivered for the team? Let us know in the comments section below. latinpost