Manchester United's hopes of signing Real Madrid attacked Gareth Bale this summer have been given a series of boosts over the last few days, with the latest coming from a Guardian report stating that rivals Manchester City will not challenge for his signature.
Bale stole the show in the Champions League final on Saturday night, scoring twice against Liverpool to ensure Los Blancos sealed their 13th European crown. His first - a frankly wild overhead kick - swung the game in Real's direction as they powered to a 3-1 win over Jurgen Klopp's side in Kiev.
Immediately following the game, the Welsh international made it known during an interview that he would consider his future this summer - failing to rule out a move to the Premier League - after becoming frustrated with failing to play every week in Spain over the course of this season.
“I was obviously very disappointed not to start the game,” he said. "I feel like I deserved to start (the final) because I’ve been playing very well.
“For me personally, I feel I should be playing week-in and week-out and I haven’t been. I haven’t been playing as much as I would like and I’m going to have to sit down with everybody at a big table in the summer and seriously consider what I’m going to do next."
United are ready to capitalise on the uncertainty and lodge an offer for the 28-year-old, but local rivals City are reported to not hold any interest in rivalling for his signature. City are currently in pursuit of Leicester star Riyad Mahrez, while they already have the likes of Leroy Sane, Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling on their books for the wide positions.
Tottenham are another side believed to be interested in Bale, and have a reported option to match any successful bid made by any other club should they look to bring him back. Spurs' spending power in comparison to United's however, is limited, and United are believed to be firmly in the driving seat.
It's reported that United value Bale at around £70m because of his age - whereas Real "want closer to £200m" - and that the Premier League club may need to offload Anthony Martial before looking to bring Bale in.
With Bale missing out on the World Cup, expect this one to run and run.