Real Madrid plot swap deal involving Bale and Rodriguez for Paul Pogba - report

Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez

Zinedine Zidane's desire to bring Paul Pogba to the Bernabeu could lead to two of their most high-profile players heading in the opposite direction. 

According to Spanish title Eldesmarque, Florentino Perez has been instructed to offer Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, so keen is Zidane to have Paul Pogba in his midfield. 

The report claims that Pogba - who is currently out of the United side recovering from an ankle injury - has been in contact with Zidane a lot in recent weeks, and also claims that the Man United hierarchy would be open to signing both Bale and Rodriguez. 

Gareth Bale looked guaranteed to leave Real Madrid in the summer, having been told by Zidane his career at the club was all but over. However, a move to the Chinese Super League was blocked by the club. 

James Rodriguez's future at the club has also been uncertain for some time, having spent last season on loan at Bayern Munich. He's struggled for minutes since returning to Spain, with Zidane favouring Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo. 

A stumbling block could be Man United's lack of cover in central midfield. Scott McTominay and Fred have been playing there in recent weeks, but Pogba would surely be an automatic starter were he fit, and Solskjaer has confirmed that as soon as he is, he'll get minutes:

"Of course, Paul's going to play when he gets his fitness," Solskjaer said, reported in the Daily Express.

"He's one of the best players in the world when he's in form. We just need to give him time to be 100 per cent fit.

“It might be 45 minutes, the first game. It might be half-an-hour, it might be 90.

“It depends on what game he comes back in and I'm looking to get Paul back to where I had him a year ago."

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