Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale will reportedly reject a new deal from the club, in turn alerting both Manchester United and Manchester City.
Speculation suggesting an exit from the Bernabeu for the Welshman dates back to last summer, but having been made a central part of Rafa Benitez’s plans earlier this season, it appeared as though any potential suitors would be left disappointed.
However, the rumours have returned since Zinedine Zidane was appointed as the Spaniard’s successor, with Tuttomercatoweb suggesting that both Manchester clubs will be in the running to secure Bale’s signature.
The 26-year-old has scored 15 goals and provided 13 assists in 24 appearances in all competitions so far this season, but having been switched back out to the wing, it is claimed that he is keeping his options open.
According to The Sun, any exit from Madrid would then see the La Liga giants target Chelsea star Eden Hazard. As a result, should the former Tottenham man make his return to the Premier League, it is likely to spark activity elsewhere in the summer transfer market.
Nevertheless, it is an interesting development in the Spanish capital as Los Blancos appear set to lose one of their main protagonists this summer.
While the attacking trident of Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema is amongst the top front trios in the world, the likes of James Rodriguez and Isco have suffered as a result and would naturally be expected to be sacrificed in order to keep the main three at the club.
However, it doesn’t appear as though that is a certainty, and Bale’s exit will likely be met with disappointment from supporters after his big-money arrival less than three years ago.
If true though, it sets up an intriguing clash between incoming City boss Pep Guardiola and old foe Jose Mourinho, who has been linked with replacing Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford, as reported by ESPN FC.
Bale will be a fundamental part to their respective plans if they are able to sign him, but naturally it remains to be seen whether or not the ‘Special One’ firstly gets the job that he wants this summer.