By Harry Sykes
Jose Mourinho has rowed back on his comments that the deal for Gareth Bale is dead in the water, according to a report.
The Sun claims that the Man United manager believes a deal can still be done, despite declaring that it was “game over” in the pursuit after Bale lined up for Real Madrid in the Super Cup on Wednesday.
Real won the game 2-1 and Bale put in a characteristically bright performance, going close to getting on the score sheet.
Prior to the game Mourinho had said, as quoted by the Guardian, that he would “fight” for Bale’s signature if Real wanted to sell, but had also said, “if he plays tomorrow, that is the best confirmation he is wanted by the team.”
After the game he admitted defeat in the chase for the Welsh superstar’s signature, but his position has reportedly now changed.
The Sun report that after contact, described as “background checks”, Mourinho is now convinced the deal can happen and has asked the Man United hierarchy to put in a £100million bid.
He has reportedly been told that Real Madrid will sell if the deal is done quickly enough for them to find a replacement before the end of the summer transfer window.
Mourinho is convinced that a massive £500k-a-week deal would tempt Bale back to the Premier League in what would be one of the biggest transfers of the summer, with a four-year deal mentioned.
The numbers are so big though – £100million fee, plus an extra £100million in wages across four years (£200million total) – that United are said to be discussing their options before putting in a formal bid.
Football Insider verdict:
After Mourinho’s comments everyone was watching the Real Madrid line-up and it was a bit of a let-down when Bale’s name appeared in the starting XI. Had he been dropped the rumour mill would have gone into overdrive and people would have believed the sensational deal could have been done. That seemed to kill speculation dead but it’s started up again and there’s generally no smoke without fire in these cases. It would be an amazing coup to secure the signature of such a world-class player and it would make man United favourites to recalim their Premier League crowd. How much would that be worth to Man United supremo supremo Ed Woodward?
In other Man United transfer news, Crystal Palace completed a season-long loan deal for Timothy Fosu-Mensah.