Gareth Bale has been linked once again with a move to Manchester United this summer, as tabloid reports claim they are set to launch a bid to land the Welshman on loan.
In the face of all logic and reason, the 29-year-old has been consistently linked with a return to the Premier League for as long as memory serves, with United being the main culprits.
Last summer, having just finished second in the Premier League, they were believed to be 'set' to launch a bid in the region of £100m to secure Bale, who had just scored a mind-bending overhead kick to win Real Madrid the Champions League for a third successive year.
Gareth Bale for Real Madrid:— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 8, 2019
Champions League - 🏆🏆🏆🏆
UEFA Super Cup - 🏆🏆🏆
FIFA World Club Cup - 🏆🏆🏆
LaLiga - 🏆
Copa del Rey - 🏆
Supercopa - 🏆
Goals & Assists in LL + CL - 144 in 195 apps
WhoScored Rating - 7.50
Full player statistics -- https://t.co/htJF17rNrg pic.twitter.com/axE50aQWYI
Now, however, the speculation has been adjusted to suit the current situation of both parties. With United and Tottenham now unwilling to meet Real's lowered asking price of £75m, the Sun sagely report that the Old Trafford side will 'launch a bid' to bring him in on a season-long loan, with the option of a second year thrown in.
They sell it as reasonable on the basis that it could save Real £50m on wages over the course of the next two seasons, with United willing to pay a 'massive' - but unspecified - loan fee to get it over the line.
Although his stock has been reduced drastically after a poor season which finished trophy-less for Los Blancos, it seems likely they will want to recoup at least some of the £90m they spent on him in 2013, and a loan spell away - at the end of which he will be 31 - runs the risk of killing those aspirations in the water.
🏋♂👀 - Gareth Bale throws the ball harder than some can kick it!— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) June 8, 2019
His monster throw-in puts Harry Wilson through on goal, but his shot is straight at the 'keeper! 😬
Watch the Euro 2020 qualification clash live on Sky Sports Football or follow: https://t.co/9rNu59hkjO pic.twitter.com/O4C4BHL8Jr
Meanwhile, the Sun also 'exclusively reveal' that Real officials met with the United hierarchy while they were in London to finalise Eden Hazard's deal over the weekend, with Paul Pogba the topic of conversation.
You know the drill on that one by now. £150m deal, United won't budge, Real will consider it, part of their 'summer transfer revolution', etc etc.