Jose Mourinho opened the door to Gareth Bale moving to Manchester United this summer by saying that if the Welshman is not selected by Real Madrid to play in the Uefa Super Cup game on Tuesday night then it keeps alive the hopes of those who would like to sign him.
Mourinho recently said it would be impossible to bring in Bale, but is now ready to pounce on any softening on their part.
“If he’s playing tomorrow, well, no I wouldn’t think of that possibility of signing on (Bale),” the United boss said in Macedonia ahead of facing his former club.
“If he is playing tomorrow, it is because he is in the coach’s plans and in the club’s plans and because he also has that ambition to continue in Real Madrid.
“So I haven’t even thought of the possibility of signing him on our team.
“If he’s not in the club’s plans, if what you are writing right now is true – I am not sure whether it is or not – that the arrival of another player (would) perhaps (mean) Gareth would be on his way out.
“If he is on his way out of Real Madrid, well, I’ll try to be waiting for him on the other side and try to fight with other coaches that would also like to have him on his team.
“But I think that if he plays tomorrow, it is probably the best confirmation that they’ll keep counting on him during the season.”
First it was Ronaldo, then Ramos, then Morata and now Bale. United have been trying for years to sign a Real Madrid player, but Ed Woodward and Florentino Pérez have been unable to reach a deal for anyone. Is this the summer that this changes and Woodward gets the Madrid superstar that he craves?