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Manchester United are prepared to move in for Gareth Bale this summer if Real Madrid indicate that he is available, according to reports from ESPN FC.
The Welshman was not on Jose Mourinho’s original list of targets despite his desire to sign a winger, with the former Chelsea boss believing the La Liga champions wanted to keep the Wales international.
However, according to Spanish outlets, it suggest Bale could now be allowed to leave the club if Madrid secure a world-record move for Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe.
Spanish newspaper Marca which has close ties to Bernabeu president Florentio Perez reported on Tuesday that the European champions have reached agreement in principle over a £161 million deal for 18-year-old Mbappe, whose arrival would put pressure on Bale.
Madrid have offloaded Alvaro Morata to Chelsea and Jams Rodriguez to Bayern Munich, but Real’s coach Zinedine Zidane would still have to accommodate Mbappe into a forward line that already boasts Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Isco and Marco Asensio.
The Red Devils executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is a long-time admirer of Bale, 28, having tried to sign him when he left Tottenham for Madrid in 2013.
The 54-year-old boss said ahead of his side preseason friendly with Real in Santa Clara last week that Bale was not a target because he did not want to lose time and energy” on a deal he felt would be difficult to complete.
However, that stance would change if the former Tottenham man is told he faces a reduced role at the Bernabeu next season.
According to ESPN FC, Bale, who’s under contract with Real until 2022, is happy in the Spanish capital and would only consider leaving Los Blancos if he became surplus to requirements.
Mourinho confirmed this week via ESPN that he wants “an attacking player to play through the wings” as one of two additional signings before the close of the transfer window.
Ivan Perisic has been identified as a possible solution, but Inter Milan have held firm in their valuation of £48.5m — a price United have so far refused to meet.