Zinedine Zidane has been told any hopes of overhauling his Real Madrid squad this summer will hinge on whether Gareth Bale and his astronomical wages can be shifted, according to Spanish news outlet Marca.
Zidane is keen to add some quality to a team which claimed La Liga last season, but is hamstrung by Bale's huge salary. The Welsh forward reportedly earns £600,000 per week before tax at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Bale almost left to play in the Chinese Super League last summer, only for a deal to fall through at the last minute due to Madrid's growing list of injuries.
It is hoped Manchester United's long-standing interest in the Welsh forward will resurface before the transfer window closes on October 5. The Red Devils reportedly retain hope that number one target Jadon Sancho can be signed from Borussia Dortmund, in which case Bale is, at best, a backup option.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to bolster his forward line, with a lack of natural wingers an issue heading into the new season. Bale has proven Premier League experience, from his time at Tottenham, and has won practically everything during a glittering - albeit sometimes frustrating - spell in Madrid.
The 31-year old has won two La Ligas, four Champions Leagues, four Club World Cups and one Copa De Ray in Madrid, to add to the League Cup he won with Spurs in 2008. His 105 goals in 251 appearances put him among the greatest scorers in Real Madrid's history, though there is a suspicion among fans Bale prefers to play golf and represent Wales over playing for Los Blancos. This has led to him becoming an unpopular figure at the club despite his achievements.
Solskjaer has been praised by United fans for clearing out uncommitted players on expensive wages, so a move for Bale may be seen as a step in the opposite direction. Results are important, however, and Bale would walk into most teams in Europe when injury free and on form.
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