Is Real Madrid ace the surprise signing in Man Utd’s pipeline?

Following Manchester United’s 1-0 pre-season friendly win over Club America, in which only Wayne Rooney and James Wilson were the available strikers, Louis van Gaal cheekily claimed that a surprise signing could be on the cards for his forward line.

The media have naturally picked up such a comment and run, like Forest Gump.

According to the Sunday People, the fact that the Dutchman is looking to spring a shock in his forward line recruitment means that a deal for Real Madrid star Gareth Bale is still on.

The paper believe that, with only a pair of Englishmen and Javier Hernandez to call on as natural strikers, a pursuit of a winger that has rarely operated through the middle of the field during his career is the answer to such a personnel shortage.

There was a time when Bale, who has endured a love-hate affair with Los Blancos in his two seasons with them, was linked to the Old Trafford giants on a daily basis.

After the Red Devils purchased Memphis Depay early on in the summer transfer window, those mutterings quietened to a pleasing hush. However, the Dutch tactician seems to have inadvertently turned the volume back up with his latest quotes.

Constant talk of Angel Di Maria’s departure from the 11/2 title challengers is more of a plausible reason for targeting Bale, but with the latest news indicating that Van Gaal has asked the Argentine to stay, it really feels like there is a lot of unnecessary excitement over the Welshman.

Along with his teasing “surprise” carrot, Van Gaal also indicated that Chicharito will be given a greater chance to prove his first-team worth this term.

The Mexican spent last season on loan at Madrid, but will be given more of an opportunities in a red shirt now that Robin Van Persie and Radamel Falcao have departed.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.