Manchester City may have stolen a march in the summer transfer window, but it’s only a matter of time before Jose Mourinho starts to splash the cash, too.
According to Manchester United legend Gary Neville, his former employers have at least £200 million to spend this summer on three or four signings.
“Manchester United have the largest chequebook in the world at the moment in terms of fees,” Neville said in March. “Jose Mourinho has been unbelievable in the transfer market over the years.
“They got £45 million back for [Morgan] Schneiderlin and [Memphis] Depay and maybe if [David] De Gea leaves it will be £60 million or £70 million – so he’s going to have £200 million to spend.
“He has only signed four players in one transfer window.”
Among Mourinho’s top targets are Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Gareth Bale, although it’s the latter who’s most likely to join.
The Welshman, according to the Independent, is open to joining United but only if he is forced out of Real Madrid, rather than on his own accord.
Bale would cost United somewhere in the region of £80 million – perhaps over £100 million even – and there’s reason to believe he may complete a shock move.
Not only is he attracted to United, but he’s cut a frustrated figure under Zinedine Zidane this season with his injuries and lack of game time.
And because of that exact reason, Mourinho has a plan to sign Bale.
According to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, United are hoping Zidane will start Bale on the bench for next weekend’s Champions League final to be given a ‘great’ chance of landing him.
Start as a substitute and it’s likely Bale will see it as the final straw and opt for a return back to the Premier League, at which point Mourinho will move in for the kill.
It wouldn’t come as a surprise if Bale didn’t start against Juventus, in truth, having fallen behind the likes of Isco in the pecking order.
His goalscoring record has been impressive, but there’s also the thing of Bale’s persistent injury niggles that have seen him miss most of the season.
Signing Bale has its risks for United, but if Real end up transfer listing him, how can they possibly say no?