Paper Talk: Man Utd in driving seat as Real make huge Bale decision

Date published: Wednesday 18th March 2020 8:20 - James Marshment

BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 06: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid CF reacts on the pitch after missing a chance to score during the Copa del Semi Final first leg match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at Nou Camp on February 06, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Gareth Bale is reportedly set to return to the Premier League with Man Utd hovering after Real Madrid made a big decision on his future, while Chelsea are planning a significant double raid on Serie A, according to Wednesday’s Paper Talk. 


Real Madrid are considering releasing Gareth Bale for free this summer, according to reports.

The Spanish giants have tried repeatedly to offload the forward over the past two seasons, but have been met with resistance from both the player and his agent Jonathan Barnett.

And with Bale’s huge £650,000 a week wages clearly proving prohibitive to Real’s efforts to sell the player, the nearest they have come was last summer when the former Tottenham man almost secured a lucrative move to the Chinese Super League.

However, Spanish publication Marca – via the Daily Star – claims Real have now decided they will release Bale on a free, with the club previously having asked anything between £50m – £80m for the winger.

It’s claimed Los Blancos are willing to waive a transfer fee for the 30-year-old in order to get him off their wage bill, with his contract still having two years left to run.

Long-term suitors Manchester United have been, understandably, mentioned as leading suitors to sign him, while former club Tottenham have also been mentioned, as have Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.


Bale would likely need to accept a significant drop in wages, but after six seasons in Spain, the chance of a free transfer back to the Premier League might just tempt him, especially if he can command a significant signing-on fee in the process.

Despite occasionally getting a rough ride from the Real supporters, Bale has scored 105 goals in 249 appearances for the club and has also won the Champions League four times during his time in LaLiga.

But he has played just three times in 2020 with his injury-record clearly having held him back during his time in Spain.



Chelsea are ready to battle Paris Saint-Germain for the signature of £60m-rated Juventus star Miralem Pjanic, according to reports (Daily Star)

Chelsea and Manchester City are ready to battle it out to sign Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez this summer, with the Argentine having a €111m (£101m) release clause in his contract (Daily Star)

Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich has reportedly seen his net worth drop by £2.4bn this year because of the coronavirus outbreak, although he is still worth more than £10bn (Daily Star)

The Premier League is ready to play all of the remaining 92 games behind closed doors with every game shown live on TV in a bid to save the season (Daily Mail)

Arsenal are poised to enter the race to sign Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti after the Frenchman was placed on the transfer list (Daily Mail)

Manchester City have set a price of £80m for Algeria winger Riyad Mahrez, 29, who has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain (The Sun)

Real Madrid are reportedly eyeing a summer swoop for Real Betis star Nabil Fekir (The Sun)

Arsenal will demand at least £50m for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if Barcelona move for the striker in the summer (Daily Express)

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta wants to sell Armenia midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the summer and Roma are keen to turn his current loan deal into a permanent transfer (Daily Express)

Chelsea could face a struggle to hold on to Ethan Ampadu if AC Milan hire Ralf Rangnick as their new sporting director (Daily Express)

Barcelona will attempt to bring Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar back to the club in the summer transfer window in a bid to please Lionel Messi (Daily Express)

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane has made a donation of about £41,000 to the committee fighting coronavirus in his native Senegal, according to reports (The Times)



Arsenal are hoping Roma don’t qualify for next season’s Champions League as they eye a summer swoop for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling (Daily Mirror)

Bosnian goalkeeper Asmir Begovic on loan at AC Milan from Bournemouth, says living in Milan is “like a movie scene” during Italy’s “nightmare” lockdown (Daily Mirror)

The Football Association is working with the Premier League, EFL and the government to consider how help can be provided to clubs falling into financial crisis during the suspension of the sport (The Guardian)


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