Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is reportedly keen to warn the club over blowing his transfer budget on the pursuit of Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, according to a report in The Sun. The suggestion appears to be that the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is keen to land the Welshman for a deal that could potentially be worth £200m, with the Spanish club asking for well over double the £77m that they paid Tottenham Hotspur for his services back in 2013. United are one of few clubs who could afford to fund such a prohibitively expensive deal, but the Portuguese manager’s argument appears to be that such a pursuit would cut the money available for him to spend on other, more important targets.
At present, United have deals lined up with Shakhtar Donetsk for Brazilian midfielder Fred, FC Porto defender Diogo Dalot and are exploring the possibility of signing Spurs’ out-of-favour defender Toby Alderweireld. The combined spending of all three would probably amount to £100m in total, and given that United have typically failed to spend more than £150m per summer since Mourinho took over, the suggestion appears to be that a deal for Bale would affect the funds available for the club to complete other deals.
The pursuit of Bale certainly muddies the waters of United’s transfer business this summer; it’s rare for a player of his calibre to become free, and having missed out on the player last year, there’s every chance that the desire to add a word-class player to the ranks still appeals greatly to Mourinho and his bosses. But after the signing of Alexis Sanchez in January, and the inconsistent form of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, it might be far better for the former Chelsea boss to concentrate on developing and/or getting the best out of the available talent that he has before throwing gigantic sums of money at another superstar signing.