9:41, 17.Dec 2018
Gareth Bale represents a “risk” for Manchester United, but former Red Devils coach Rene Meulensteen believes he is one worth taking for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Wales international is in danger of becoming an outcast at Real Madrid.
He has been used to promote the Blancos’ new home kit for 2019-20, but questions remain as to whether he will ever grace that strip in competitive action.
Zinedine Zidane took to overlooking the 29-year-old towards the end of last season, with summer transfer talk building as a result.
A return to the Premier League has been mooted, with moves to either United or former club Tottenham considered to be the most likely options for Bale.
Meulensteen, who once worked as assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, believes a rebuilding Red Devils side could be tempted to take a punt on a player who has lost his way but still boasts proven pedigree at the very highest level.
The Dutchman told talkSPORT: “You would obviously talk about bringing in a high-profile player, but is Gareth Bale still at his best?
“We all know he’s had his fair share of injuries, so it’s always a risk.
“But, on the other hand, a top-notch Gareth Bale is a really good asset for Manchester United.
“He brings power, he brings pace and he can create and score goals.
“It’s a bit difficult to see where he is at the moment, though.”
Article continues below
Bale made 42 appearances for Real Madrid across the 2018-19 campaign – his best return for four years.
He also recorded 14 goals, passing 100 for the Blancos in the process, but his appetite for the game has been questioned and his representatives maintain that a long-term deal in the Spanish capital will be honoured.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to see how he could stay put, with some reports going as far as to suggest that Bale could even be made available for a loan as Zidane seeks to move him out and free up space for the likes of Eden Hazard – who has signed in a €100 million (£88m/$112m) agreement from Chelsea.