Manchester United have been given a shock after Real Madrid informed any suitors for Gareth Bale that they will need to spend a record fee to land the Welshman, according to reports.
Bale came off the bench to deliver a man-of-the-match performance in the Champions League final on Saturday, scoring one of the greatest goals ever seen in a European final with a stunning bicycle kick.
Immediately afterwards, Bale piqued the interest of every major club in Europe when he suggested he would seek a move away if he is not guaranteed more game time.
He told BT Sport: ‘I’m sure we’ll sit down at the table and see what’s for the best. For me personally, I feel like I should be playing week in, week out and I haven’t been.
‘I’ve been doing well, scoring goals, but I haven’t been playing as much as I would like so, as I said, I am going to have to sit down over the summer and seriously consider what we do next.’
And now the Daily Star report that, while Real are keen to keep Bale, they will permit him to leave if an offer of £200million is made – which would usurp the record £198m PSG paid for Neymar. That could prove too costly for Manchester United, even though Bale has made Old Trafford his preferred destination should he leave the Bernabeu.
United have another problem in Bale’s wages, which are the fourth most expensive in Europe behind only Neymar, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Incredibly, the Welshman currently takes home £650,000 a week – or £33.8m – which is beyond even United’s means, despite being the richest club in the world, and Bale would be required to take a significant pay cut if he is to return to the Premier League.