Jose Mourinho will launch a bid to sign Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale if the Wales international is omitted from the team to face Manchester United in the Super Cup final. The 28-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford this summer amid the imminent arrival of Kylian Mbappe from Monaco.
Real boss Zinedine Zidane has accepted that "anything can happen" with regard to the future of his attacking trident; Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Bale. The ex-Tottenham Hotspur star played a bit-part role for the La Liga and Champions League winners last term due to injury and a dramatic loss of form which has seen him fall out of favour with supporters.
The Manchester Evening News have previously claimed that United are interested in a move for Bale which could be worth £100m, a deal which would end his spell in Spain after four years.
Mourinho has reportedly urged the winger to instigate his exit from the Bernabeu by making public his desire to leave but the player's representatives have denied he has any intention of returning to England.
With Ronaldo not expected to feature for Real against Europa League winners United in Skopje on Tuesday [8 August] having only recently returned to training, Bale is expected to fill in for the world footballer of the year. Mourinho has previously described the prospect of signing Bale as impossible but should he again be overlooked by Zidane - he made just 17 top-flight starts last term - the United boss promises he will "fight" other clubs for his signature.
"Well if he's playing tomorrow, no I wouldn't think that, it would be because he's in the coach's plans and the club's plans, because he also has that motivation to continue at Real Madrid," he said, according to The Mirror. "So I haven't even thought about the possibility.
"If he is not in the club's plans, that with the arrival of another player would mean he was on his way out, I will try to be waiting for him on the other side and fight with other coaches that would want him on their team. But if he plays tomorrow, that is the best confirmation that he is still wanted by the team."
Speculation regarding a move for Bale has been accentuated in recent weeks amid the failure to sign Croatia international Ivan Persic from Inter Milan. The Serie A club and the 20-time English league champions have been unable to reach an agreement regarding a fee, leading to Mourinho seeking alternative targets.
The Portuguese coach has been unimpressed with United's ponderous approach in the transfer window this summer which has seen them land just three signings in the form of defender Victor Lindelof, striker Romelu Lukaku and midfielder Nemanja Matic. The two-time European Cup winner has made no secret of his desire to make a fourth signing which is largely expected to be a wideman.