Premier League giants Manchester United are considering a swoop for Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale in the summer of 2018.

According to a report in Dairo Gol, the Welsh International is a subject of interest for the Red Devils. Jose Mourinho wants the 27-year-old for his Manchester United project and he is reportedly in contact with Real Madrid President Florentino Perez about the same.

However, the report goes on to state that Manchester United would only try and bring back Bale in the summer of 2018. They are currently ‘studying’ the possibility of acquiring the player, who is seen as the ultimate goal, and Mourinho wants Bale to be the leader of the team he eventually builds.

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 18: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid CF celebrates scoring their second goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RCD Espanyol at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on February 18, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Gareth Bale celebrates scoring during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RCD Espanyol at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on February 18, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Picture Courtesy – Getty Images)

Bale joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 for a massive €100.8 million, making him the most expensive transfer ever at the time. He has since won the Champions League twice, the Copa Del Rey, the Super Cup and the Club World Cup with Los Blancos.

He also grown into one of the best players in the world and become an integral part of Real Madrid’s ‘BBC’ attacking trident alongside Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo. In just under 4 full seasons with the club, he has scored 67 goals and registered 51 assists in 149 appearances.

While those statistics don’t make for extraordinary reading, one can’t help but expect more from a player who is widely touted as the heir to Cristiano Ronaldo’s position at the club and the number of injuries he has suffered over the course of the past three seasons haven’t helped his cause.

This season has been, by far, the worst with regard to injuries for the Welshman. Most recently, he hobbled off Madrid’s 2-3 loss to Barcelona at the Bernabeu in the Clasico last month, after picking up a calf injury. He hasn’t played a game ever since.

Barcelona's defender Gerard Pique (R) gestures beside Real Madrid's Welsh forward Gareth Bale (L) during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on April 23, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / OSCAR DEL POZO (Photo credit should read OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP/Getty Images)

Barcelona’s Gerard Pique (R) gestures beside Gareth Bale (L) during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on April 23, 2017. (Picture Courtesy – Getty Images)

This is his second spell on the sidelines this term after picking up an ankle injury which kept him out for over 3 months. As a result, he has been restricted to making only 26 appearances across all competitions this term, starting only 24 of those and scoring only 9 goals in that time.

Needless to say, this would be extremely frustrating for a player of his quality and if a report in Don Balon is to be believed, Real Madrid may slowly be running out of patience with Bale and given how well they are performing in his absence, may reconsider his importance to the club.

Real are currently level on points with arch rivals Barcelona with a game in hand and are well on course to win their first La Liga title since 2012. They also effectively have one foot in the final of the Champions League, having beaten Atletico Madrid 3-0 in the first leg of the semi-final.

With youngsters like Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio impressing in every performance and getting better under Zinedine Zidane, further doubts have been raised about Bale’s place in the squad. He signed a contract extension in October, which ties him to the club till 2022.

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 10: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates with Gareth Bale after scoring opening goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and CA Osasuna at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 10, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

In his shadow. Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with Gareth Bale after scoring opening goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and CA Osasuna at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 10, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Picture courtesy – Getty Images)

In March, Bale was said to be considering a shock move to Manchester United, a club who have long been interested in the Welshman. With the likes of Marcus Rashford, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Bale could help form one of the most feared attacking lineups in the world.

Manchester United are one of the few clubs in the world who will be able to afford his transfer fee and would also help him get out of Cristiano Ronaldo’s shadow, given that the Portuguese is still the dominant force he was, if not a better one than when Bale first arrived 4 years ago.

Even a side with Real Madrid’s financial backing, wouldn’t appreciate having to pay a player millions of Euros a season, when he spends most of it on the bench. Bale would still command a hefty transfer fee and Real Madrid will likely try to sell him off before it falls any lower, and it may be time for Bale to reconsider their positions and think about moving to a familiar league, where he would once again have a team centered around him.

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