Man Utd to hunt down Real Madrid star Gareth Bale if Antoine Griezmann snubs moveNovember 18,2017 byDailystar.co.uk
Gareth Bale has struggled with fitness at Real Madrid
United boss Jose Mourinho had hoped to land the Atletico Madrid ace in a £100m deal.
But Griezmann fancies Barcelona or Paris Saint Germain instead after deciding to leave the Spanish giants at the end of this season.
It means Mourinho will have to look elsewhere and Starsport understands he will turn his attentions to Real Madrid superstar Bale.
The Welshman has suffered a succession of injuries this season. He picked up a calf problem before suffering a muscle issue in his left leg that set him back even further.
Bale has not played a game since hobbling off during Real’s Champions League tie against Borussia Dortmund on September 26.
He has made just 14 La Liga appearances in 2017 and missed a remarkable 40 of Real’s last 61 games.
Bale signed a new six-year deal with Real back in 2016 worth £150m, that keeps him at the Bernabeu until 2022.
But there are now serious concerns in Madrid about his long-term fitness and his ability to remain injury free.
Sections of the Spanish media have blamed his love of golf for all the problems he’s suffered.
But senior figures at United are not put off by his recent health issues and remain interested in luring the former Tottenham ace back to the Premier League in a deal worth around £140m.
United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward still harbours hopes of luring Bale’s team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford before he retires.
But he knows he has a more realistic chance of landing Bale and will spend the next few months putting a financial package together.
United will welcome back Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Marcos Rojo to their squad for today’s game against Newcastle.
Pogba (hamstring) has been out since September while Ibrahimovic and Rojo have not played since last April after damaging knee ligaments.
Ibrahimovic wasn’t expected to come back until the start of 2018, but United knew he would be back quicker after surgeons in America told United the Swedish ace had a tendon and muscle structure like no-one they’d ever seen before.
United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward travelled to Pittsburgh to discuss Ibrahimovic’s recovery with medical experts.
Mourinho added: “With Zlatan last season we played with him every minute almost until he was injured, then this season we learn how to play without him, but he’s a very important player for us and of course we welcome him back.
"He’s an incredible personality to fight such an important injury, we were all saying in 2017 he will be back but one thing is 31 December 2017 and another thing is mid-November.
"As an injured player he was the same super pro he is when he’s fit. So fantastic work.”