Zinedine Zidane hopes that all three members of Real Madrid's vaunted 'BBC' trio remain at the Bernabeu this summer, although he may have offered Manchester United potential encouragement over Gareth Bale by conceding that "anything can happen" before the transfer deadline.

With Cristiano Ronaldo's future seemingly now assured after a considerable scare and age-old links between Arsenal and Karim Benzema unlikely to have any real substance following the Gunners' high-profile addition of Alexandre Lacazette, the spotlight has once again begun to shift back towards Bale.

Fanciful rumours regarding a lucrative switch back to English football for the former world-record breaker have begun to gather pace over recent days, despite Jose Mourinho recently claiming that he never featured on his list of targets.

The Portuguese was apparently heard joking with Bale that he could not buy him because he did not "talk up" as the two shared an embrace in the tunnel before United beat Real on penalties in an International Champions Cup clash in Santa Clara, California last weekend.

The latest speculation connecting Bale with United arose after the Manchester Evening News, while covering the crowded race for Kylian Mbappe, claimed that Manchester City believed that Real would attempt to facilitate a deal in order to finance their move for the AS Monaco wonderkid.

Seventy-two percent of Real supporters polled by Spanish daily AS indicated that they would endorse such a sale. Bale would likely be seen as an alternative to Inter Milan's Ivan Perisic, with Mourinho having stated a desire to sign one more attacking player capable of playing out wide before the window shuts..

"Let's hope that all of the members of the BBC stay here," Zidane told reporters at a press conference held after Los Blancos suffered a heavy 4-1 friendly defeat to Manchester City in Los Angeles. "I want the BBC to stay put, it's the same for all of the players who are here. That said, up until 31 August anything can happen".

Mbappe chase

Zidane would not be drawn on that interest in Mbappe after Monaco denied reports from Marca suggesting that the two clubs had reached an agreement in principle over an eye-watering deal worth in the region of €180m (£160.6m, $211m).

City have also rubbished claims that they have opened formal negotiations with the Ligue 1 champions and tabled their own £143m offer for one of world football's most coveted young stars.

"I'm the coach here and you'd have to ask someone else about that," Zidane added. "We're working on things and we'll see what happens. We've got the players who are here now and we'll just have to see what happens".

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale has long been linked with a potential move to Manchester United