Manchester United Rumors: Does Gareth Bale Arrive In January? Van Gaal Readies Record Bid

Manchester United rumors around the January transfer window have swirled with some dramatic possibilities — and it’s easy to see why. After a disappointing 7th-place finish in the 2013-14 Barclays Premier League Season, United continues to struggle in the new season, sitting in eighth place with just 13 points, with only three wins in nine matches played. The legendary Manchester Club needs to do something — something drastic — to reverse its fading fortunes.

The most dramatic rumor of all has Manchester United opening up its checkbook to unload the largest amount of money ever paid for a single player — and that player is 25-year-old Real Madrid winger and former Tottenham Hotspur sensation Gareth Bale.

According to these rumors that have cropped up in the British media, new Manchester United Manager Louis Van Gaal has been given the go-ahead to continue the spending spree that began in the summer by writing a check to Real Madrid for a staggering £90 million, or $144 million.

The move would be especially stunning because it was just over a year ago that Real Madrid paid a reported $143 million to Tottenham to purchase the services of the dynamic Wales winger.

“The football news site Caught Offside reports that Manchester United is not only prepared to shell out the record transfer fee to bring Bale from the Bernabeu to Old Trafford, but the Red Devils are also willing to offer Bale a wage packet of £300,000 per week — that’s about $480,000, or approximately $25 million per year.”

The wage deal would virtually match the massive contract given to Manchester United and England star striker Wayne Rooney in February.

But does this Gareth Bale-to-Manchester United rumor actually hold any water? When Bale completed his move to Real Madrid last August the Welshman called it his “dream” to play for Los Blancos and to win the UEFA Champions League trophy in their shirt — a dream which he actually accomplished.

“Will it also be Bale’s ‘dream’ to play for Manchester United? Sure, the Reds are the Premier League’s most storied and decorated side — but United appears to be at least another year or two from contending even for Champions League qualification again, much less contending for the trophy itself.”

On the other hand, nursing a painful hip, Bale was included in the Real Madrid 18, but left on the bench for the team’s 5-0 drubbing of Levante before being left out altogether for the Champions League showdown in Liverpool — and for the season’s first edition of El Clasico last Saturday.

Even without Bale, Real had no problem winning all three of those matches.

Real Madrid Manager Carlo Ancelotti, however, appeared to laugh off the Manchester United transfer rumors, declaring Bale an “important” part of the Real side, dashing the hopes of United fans — for now.