You know it’s not long until the January transfer window opens when nonsense appears in the papers about Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale moving to Manchester United.
Such talk has been a staple since Bale’s lightning form for former club Tottenham and continues following his £80m-plus move to the Bernabeu 14 months ago, despite the Welsh wing wizard’s obvious affinity to Los Blancos, his boyhood club.
United fans won’t be holding their breath in anticipation of the 25-year-old’s arrival, but the same supporters will have been pleased to hear murmurs of discontent from a bona fide January target over the weekend.
After Borussia Dortmund’s 10th loss in 17 Bundesliga matches this term away to Werder Bremen, long-time Premier League target Mats Hummels helpfully provided fuel for the transfer fire with some choice comments:
“We’ve managed pretty well at home in recent weeks, but not at all away.
“It’s pretty astonishing that we are so pathetic.”
The centre-half’s words may have been lost in translation somewhat. He may even claim the quote was taken out of context. Either way, Hummels has clearly had his fill of fighting relegation.
Rarely-believable rag The Daily Express insist that United boss Louis van Gaal was plotting to move for the World Cup winner, who is valued at around £45m by BvB, during the summer, but this latest development may persuade the ‘Iron Tulip’ and the Red Devils money men to bring the bid forward.
United have endured astonishingly bad luck with injuries at the back since Van Gaal took over, with Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and new signing Marcos Rojo all forced into the treatment room during the early part of the campaign.
Youngsters Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett have been used much more often than their boss would have hoped at this stage of their development, with the latter called into action at Aston Villa over the weekend when Michael Carrick was pushed into midfield.
If Hummels is deemed gettable next month by the Old Trafford suits, expect Van Gaal to pounce. United’s top-four ambitions may rest upon this move.
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