Manchester United are now almost certain not to sign Gareth Bale from Real Madrid this summer following the sudden resignation of coach Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu on Thursday, just days after capturing a third Champions League title in three years.
Bale's relationship with Zidane has long been thought to be strained and the Welsh winger, who scored twice after coming off the bench to win the Champions League for Real, suggested after the final that he would have to consider his future after not playing regularly enough in 2017/18.
As such, United were tipped to make their fourth serious attempt to land Bale after previously failing to do so in 2007, 2013 and 2016. Manager Jose Mourinho did, however, apparently have concerns over the fee, up to £200m, that Real would have asked for.
But none of that seems as though it will be an issue now, with a report from the Daily Mirror claiming that Bale is set to remain in the Spanish capital.
Zidane publicly declared that he was stepping down because the team needs new direction in order to keep winning. But the newspaper alleges that one of the reasons Frenchman quit is that he refused a request from president Florentino Perez to begin phasing out Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored another 44 goals this season, in favour of giving Bale a bigger stage to perform.
Now that Zidane has gone, the Mirror claims that Perez will appoint a manager who will be given the 'mission' of doing exactly that. It potentially means a bigger role for Bale at Real next season, and therefore no long awaited move to Manchester United after all.