Given the strides he has made as Manchester United’s interim manager, it looks set to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who is given the reigns at Old Trafford.
The Norwegian has hugely impressed the masses watching on, from improving the squad morale to imposing some nuanced and clever tactical displays.
With that being said, not many will have seen how Solskjaer operates in the transfer market and understand what he prioritise this summer. It has been made abundantly clear that over the last three years the Red Devils have been crying out for a right-sided winger who chip in with goal contributions.
One name that is continually linked with Man United is Gareth Bale. The Real Madrid superstar is 7/2 (888Sport) to sign with the Red Devils with Paddy Power this summer and is currently struggling to nail down a starting position under Santiago Solari.
It is no secret that the Welshman has enormously struggled with injuries throughout his career, and life in Madrid has not changed his poor fortunes in that regard. While he might come up trumps with some trophy-clinching goals, especially in the Champions League, the fans ‘ whistling and jeering is not helping matters.
It was predicted that Bale would edge Cristiano Ronaldo out of the team and take superstar status for himself when first arriving in Madrid. That failed to happen and when the Portugal international left of his own accord, many were anticipating Bale to step up to the plate and lead Los Blancos into a new era of post-Ronaldo.
In Bale’s last six La Liga games, he has only started twice. While he is finding the back of the net on occasion, his overall performances have been somewhat disappointing and have evidently not been pleasing Solari given the amount of time spent out of the team.
There has been plenty of discussion about a potential Bale return to the Premier League, which begs the question: should Manchester United sign him this summer and, if so, would it be a wise outcome to bet on?
Solskjaer has already shown his philosophy by blooding youngsters Tahith Chong and James Garner into first-team football, as well as using Andreas Pereira and Scott McTominay. Signing a player who will be 30 years old come the start of the season, with his long history of injuries, and mega wages, is not something that the Norwegian would warm to.
Will Woodword Overrule?
Of course, there are other factors at play here, such as Ed Woodward’s input, knowing that bringing Bale to Old Trafford would have huge positive implications in a commercial sense.
There is no denying that Bale is a great player, but there is a genuine concern to be had over his fitness levels and longevity. The likelihood of the Wales captain’s pace dwindling is inevitable as he moves into his thirties.
Bale, when playing at 100%, is one of the best players in the world and can cause untold amounts of damage to any team’s defence. But given Real are not inclined to lose any more ‘Galacticos’, it is going to take a fee around £80 million, as well as probably £500,000 per-week in wages, to even get anywhere in negotiations.
Manchester United are better off saving that money and reinvesting it into the squad in a number of positions. It can be said that they need to recruit in defence, midfield and attack in the summer, which will not be an easy task if they splurge all of their transfer kitty on one mega signing.
Truth be told, Manchester United fans are starting to deter away from the ‘statement signings’ of recent years, and instead want players who are hungry to work under the Norwegian manager as well not yet at their peak.
'I tried to make Bale my first signing at Manchester United'— BBC 5 Live Sport (@5liveSport) March 5, 2019
David Moyes thinks Gareth Bale was the personification of what a great @ManUtd player should be, before he went to @realmadrid 👀
5 Live Final Score 🔴: https://t.co/oOFIIvRMwq#BVBTHFC#UCL#bbcfootballpic.twitter.com/kZVB3MP72F
They want to see players develop at Old Trafford and come in fighting for the jersey. The Red Devils fans have seen too many players who have evidently joined for the big pay-packet over wanting to develop their ability even further.
Before Bale moved to Real, it would have been the perfect time to have signed him to Man United. The club had done everything to convince the Welshman, but the Spanish capital lured him and the chance of winning multiple Champions League medals.
He has now accomplished what he set out to achieve and should look for a return back to England.
The Red Devils might have the most favourable odds, but it remains highly unlikely that they will sanction a move for him now.