Manchester United are set to make a third attempt to sign Real Madrid star Gareth Bale as the Spanish giants look to offload the injury-prone Welshman and accrue funds for investment in other pressing areas.
The 28-year-old has only made five La Liga appearances for Real this season and has not played for the club since September due to a calf problem. Bale is under pressure to deliver at the Bernabeu after an injury-hit 2016/17 season, in which he featured in just 19 league games. The Welshman has not been involved for his national side, which led to Wales crashing out of the World Cup in Russia next year.
He suffered a fresh thigh injury during training in Spain on 9 November and potentially faces another six weeks on the sidelines. United have long held an interest in Bale and failed twice in their attempts to sign him, while Chelsea and Tottenham have also been linked with moves for the Wales forward.
United are desperate to add more attacking prowess to their side and the Mirror reports that the Red Devils are willing to match Real's £85m ($112m) valuation for the player. The former Tottenham man was hardly ever injured during his time in north London and Jose Mourinho believes he can manage Bale's fitness better should he move to Old Trafford in the future.
He signed a new six-year deal at Real in November 2016 and is currently on a £350,000-a-week ($459,016 per week) but his salary should not be a problem for the Red Devils if they are to complete a deal for the forward. Mourinho has long been a keen admirer of Bale and would be ready to break the bank in case he became available.
The Reds are currently in second spot with 23 points, level with Tottenham, but eight points behind leaders Manchester City, who have made an impressive start to the season. They take of Rafa Benitez's Newcastle United this weekend where anything less than a win will be a damning blow to their title chances.