Why Jose Mourinho Should End Gareth Bale Talk and Stick with His Man United Squad
Following a disappointing Premier League season last year, it's no surprise Manchester United are aiming to bring only the best talent in to strengthen their current squad.
Jose Mourinho has already added Romelu Lukaku, Victor Lindelof and Nemanja Matic to his side this summer for a combined total of over £150m, with a host of other big names thrown around as further additions.
One name that repeatedly keeps cropping, as it did last summer, is that of Gareth Bale. The former Spurs man signed for Real Madrid back in 2013 and has helped his side to La Liga and Champions League triumphs.
His dynamic and explosive style of play has made him a fan favourite in the Spanish capital, although he has struggled to break out of Cristiano Ronaldo's shadow.
For the Welshman, this could be seen as a catalyst for his departure, as he may look to move onto create a name for himself at a club crying out for a superstar to take it by the horns - much like Neymar has done moving to PSG. With reports circling that Mourinho has managed to win over Bale, offering him a £500,000-a-week contract and the chance to spearhead United's attack alongside Lukaku, a deal looks at least possible.
Now, there's no doubt that signing Bale would be a big plus to Mourinho's side. United would be receiving one of the fastest players in the world - someone who could leave any Premier League defender on their backside. And yes, it would cost a lot of money to see him in a United shirt. But, in the long-run, United will be better off cooling their interest and trusting their current crop of players.
The Red Devils would be bringing in Bale to play wide and act as direct threat on counter attacks, provide defensive cover down the flanks and swing in crosses for Lukaku to get on the end of. While he's good at all of these things, gone are the days at United where the wide players are the dominant force.
Under sir Alex Ferguson, United stretched the play and used the wide areas to their advantage. But under Mourinho, a new style of play has arisen, with a variety of central-based creative midfielders - such as Henrik Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata looking to place pinpoint passes through the middle. The wide areas are taken up by progressing full-backs Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw, with the latter hoping for a stronger season this time round.
However, if Mourinho decides to switch his tactics up, a wide-man may be more beneficial. Step forward Anthony Martial. At only 21-years-old, Martial still has bags of potential and could turn into one of the best players in the world, if given the right guidance.
He played predominantly wide last year due to the impressive Zlatan Ibrahimovic leading the squad from the front. It took some time for him to adjust to the Premier League, and even more time to settle into a wide position - but after impressing in pre-season, Martial looks like he could save United a lot of money by turning up and being United's wide-left attacker.
With Champions League football to contend with next season, Mourinho will be happy he has managed to keep ahold of most of his squad thus far. By not signing Bale and keeping the rest of the players fit, United will have enough strength in depth to cope with any fixture pile-up.
The last thing they would want is to lose a star player, and bringing in the Welshman may lead to just that. Madrid have been after David De Gea for a few years now, and if United manage to seal a deal for Bale, the Spanish side may come calling later down the line for the 26-year-old
It remains to be seen whether United will get the former Spurs man, but just maybe they'd be better off sticking with what they've got rather than twisting on one more marquee signing this summer.