Manchester United Still Holding A Candle For Bale
Manchester United believe they still have a chance of signing Gareth Bale from Real Madrid. Newspaper reports today claim the Wales international could be targeted by ‘boo-boys’ at the Bernabeu when Real take on Real Betis in their first home league game of the new Spanish season next Saturday. If Bale is boo-ed it could lead to a bid from Manchester United – at least that’s the thinking.
Bale took a verbal battering from some Real Madrid fans last season and his on-field relationship with star man Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t looked the best.
However, Real president Florentino Perez is unlikely to be held to ransom by what he perceives to be a minority of the club’s supporters inside the Bernabeu even though some online opinion polls have shown a majority of fans demanding he be sold.
Bale has been linked for United for much of the summer and there were rumours earlier this week that Ed Woodward’s trip to Barcelona on Monday – where he failed to sign Pedro – also included an enquiry for Bale. If so, he will have been sent away with a flea in his ear.
Van Gaal Denies Striker Need
The Sunday Express claims United are still keen on Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller; however, like Bale, a move to Old Trafford appears unlikely for the 25-year-old. United were reported last week to have bid £60million for Muller – something he was quick to play down.
A move for Barcelona forward Neymar has also been ruled out – this time by the player’s agent Wagner Ribeiro who put the news down to press speculation and insisted he is happy at the Nou Camp. [More details here].
But manager Louis van Gaal has played down his side’s need for a new striker. Asked after yesterday’s goalless draw with Newcastle if he needed a new forward, the United boss replied:
“No, because we were three times the best team. Wayne scored. Only it was not allowed. It is doubtful and the rules are that when it is doubtful, then do not flag.
“But it is also football and I have said already many times you need more equipment to help the referees and linesmen because it is not easy.”
De Gea Relationship With Van Gaal ‘Breaks Down’
De Gea was dropped in favour of Sergio Romero for the game at Aston Villa last Friday and he has been left in the stands for each of United’s four games this season. But the Sunday Mirror claims that De Gea’s relationship both with van Gaal and goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek has been severely affected by the claim that he had said he wasn’t in the right frame of mind to play.
“David just doesn’t get on with van Gaal – and his relationship with goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek is even more strained,” somebody described as ‘a source close to De Gea’ is reported to have told the Mirror.
Van Gaal said on Friday that De Gea won’t be sold in this transfer window. Reports from Spain suggested the former Barcelona coach simply doesn’t want to sell De Gea to Real Madrid. If the Spaniard is still at Old Trafford after 1 September the United boss has to decide whether to reinstate him into the first team at the expense of Romero – who has conceded just one goal in four games so far this season – or either leave him in the stands or on the bench.