Manchester United have received a massive blow in their pursuit of Real Madrid stalwart Gareth Bale, with the Welshman reconsidering his move to Old Trafford on account of the ongoing turmoil at the club. Their 1-0 defeat against Southampton has earned a lot of flak from supporters across the globe and put manager Louis van Gaal's future at the club under scrutiny.

According to he Independent, Bale was seriously considering a move back to the Premier League when United made a record £100m ($143m) bid for the player last summer but is now reconsidering his options following questions over Van Gaal's future. Director Ed Woodward is determined to keep the Dutchman at United until at least the summer as a change midway through the season would lead to discontinuity in the ranks.

Rafa Benitez, who was in charge of Madrid at that point, persuaded Bale to stay but with the Spaniard sacked in favour of Zinedine Zidane, the 26-year-old's future was back under the scanner, with United offering him a gateway back to the Premier League. However, the pacy winger needs assurances that a move to Old Trafford will not be a step down from Madrid, where he has won the Champions League, something that the current situation does not promise.

United are currently on fifth spot, five points adrift of a top four place following their loss to Southampton and need a massive change of attitude in the dressing room to qualify for the Champions League. The Red Devils have also dropped out of Europe's biggest club competition after failing to qualify from the group stages and will now ply their trade in the Europa League, which resumes next month.

Bale has scored 13 goals and assisted eight in 15 appearances in the La Liga this season, considerably higher than any player in the United ranks. The 20-time English Champions are long-time admirers of the player, with David Moyes confirming that he put in a bid for the Welshman during his time at Old Trafford.