Manchester United are reportedly in 'advanced' talks over a potential transfer for Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale, with the Old Trafford club seemingly hopeful that the Welsh superstar won't be given the assurances he is seeking from new coach Julen Lopetegui.
Bale famously won the Champions League for Real last season after scoring two goals in the final against Liverpool. He made it clear immediately after that game he wanted to be playing regularly after often being overlooked by then boss Zinedine Zidane.
Zidane's exit led many to believe that Bale would stay, but it remains to be seen what the Frenchman's successor has in store for the upcoming season. The club hierarchy have also been presented with the task of replacing Cristiano Ronaldo following his move to Juventus.
Should the Spanish giants now seriously pursue players like Kylian Mbappe or Eden Hazard it may indicate to Bale that he will always be in someone else's shadow for as long as he stays.
Just this week it was reported in Spain that Bale is 'likely to stay' in light of Ronaldo's exit. But the Manchester Evening News now claims that United are in talks over a possible deal and that those talks 'have reached an advanced stage'.
United, specifically chief decision maker Ed Woodward, have been hell bent on signing Bale since 2013, even outbidding Real when the player left Tottenham to move to Spain.
And the local newspapers suggests that the decision of whether to stay or go will fall to Bale in the end, which implies that Real might actually be willing to sell for the right price.
It is said that Lopetegui needs to 'convince' Bale that he is an important part of his plans.
It has been established in recent days that United could have made a move for Ronaldo had they wanted to - the superstar is said to have been open to a return to his former club - but both they and Paris Saint-Germain opted against pursuing a deal, leaving Juventus unopposed.