Manchester United will look at a transfer for Gareth Bale if their long-standing pursuit of Jadon Sancho fails to materialise this summer.
The long-running saga - is there any other kind? - has hit a roadblock in recent weeks with the Red Devils unwilling to meet Borussia Dortmund's asking price and, you guessed it, the German side unwilling to lower it.
It will cost £108m for United to prize the Englishman away from the Bundesliga, but as of yet they are at standstill over a fee they consider too high for the current climate. As a result, every man and his football-playing dog has been linked as United's next target, from Douglas Costa to David Brooks. Quite the spectrum.
Guess who is next? It's Gareth Bale, of course!
Fed up with life on the Real Madrid and presumably having exhausted all of the local golf courses, the Welshman has publicly stated he would be open to a return to the Premier League. In order to do so, Madrid will need to loosen their grip, having so far made it 'difficult' for the 31-year-old to move on.
The Daily Star claim that Zinedine Zidane's side are now happy to go splitsies with his enormous wages, opening the door for a loan move to Old Trafford. That would allow United to avoid paying the £22m asking price currently on his head.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is 'convinced' a fully fit Bale can be the vital ingredient to mount a Premier League title charge this summer. Having inquired about his availability last summer, now is when they will act upon that interest, in the event of failure for Sancho.
Could it happen? Possibky, yes. But Sancho is the man the club are after and discussions such as these tend to rumble on until the final day when they finally bite the bullet and stump up the money anyway.