Manchester United have reportedly ended their pursuit of Gareth Bale amidst reports of Inter Milan joining the chase for the Real Madrid winger.
As per a report by The Independent, Manchester United are no longer interested in Gareth Bale, with sources close to the publication stating that the decision makers at Old Trafford have “close to zero interest in Bale”, and that the only club still interested in him are Serie A side Inter Milan.
Over the course of the past two seasons, Bale has constantly been linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu due to his injury troubles, erratic form and the rise to prominence of younger players like Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez.
In February, it was rumoured that Bale himself was eyeing a move back to the English top flight. Recent reports had even suggested that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho had convinced the Welshman to move to Old Trafford in the summer. But, according to the Independent, that isn’t the case anymore.
The report goes on to state that the reasons for Manchester United dropping their interest in him are his age, his cost and the fact that they signed Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in January. Bale, who turns 29 in July, won’t be sold on the cheap as Real will look to try and recover as much they can so that they can try and refurbish their attack in the summer.
The report further adds that the Welshman is no longer a favourite of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and that he is now seen as the player who could fetch the most amount of money from a potential sale in the upcoming transfer window.
This season, calf and hamstring injuries have kept Bale out for large parts of the campaign. He hasn’t been able to match the numbers of his first season at the club and his influence in the starting XI has been reducing steadily, season after season.
Over the course of the course of his Real Madrid career, he has accumulated 81 goals and 59 assists in 182 appearances. While those numbers don’t make for bad reading, it wouldn’t be unfair for Real Madrid to expect more from a player who set them back €100.8 million in 2013.
His numbers are no where nearly as impressive as that of Cristiano Ronaldo’s and it is debatable whether he could step in and influence games in the same manner if the Portuguese international was absent. Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio’s performances over the course of the past two seasons wouldn’t have helped his cause either.
With Anthony Martial, Jese Lingaard and Alexis Sanchez, Mourinho already has a good balance of youth and quality in his squad. While Bale would only add to Manchester United’s firepower, his massive price tag, his recent history with injuries and age would have forced them to reconsider.
Manchester United are one of the few clubs that can pay Real Madrid whatever they demand and there are still many months between now and the end transfer window for them to change their mind, and it remains to be seen if Inter Milan’s newfound interest in the Welshman complicates things.