Manchester United were put on red alert yesterday when Real Madrid revealed they are ready to unload Bale to make way for Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe.
Spanish newspaper Marca, who serve as an unofficial mouthpiece for Real, reported that boss Zinedine Zidane is increasingly confident of landing the 18-year-old French wonderboy and has put United on a red alert.
But, following Neymar’s imminent world record move to PSG, Monaco are set to increase their £140m valuation and Real need to balance the books.
Zidane does not want four big names competing for three places in his Galactico attack.
He insists he wants to keep Cristiano Ronaldo while centre forward Karim Benzema is set be offered a new deal, leaving 28-year-old Bale as the odd man out.
United boss Jose Mourinho has been looking for a wide player all summer but had all but given up on Ivan Perisic because of Inter Milan’s £48m asking price.
United have a long-standing interest in Bale but Mourinho said recently he didn’t want to waste time and energy chasing a player who seemed happy at the Bernabeu.
But if Real make it clear they want Bale out or that out his first team chances will be severely limited by Mbappe’s arrival, that could change everything.
Mourinho said this week he was happy that the club had signed three of his four targets this summer – but would be ecstatic to sign a player of Bale’s quality.
Meanwhile Nemanja Matic’s signing from Chelsea shows United are ready to show they have the credentials to be Champions League winners again by beating Real in next week’s UEFA Super Cup clash.
Matic says Tuesday’s showpiece game in Macedonia will be a valuable test as they prepare to return to Europe’s top club competition after a season’s absence.
Real became the first back-to-back winners of the Champions League in June, 10 days after United lifted the Europa League for the first time.
But the Spanish giants will be without superstar and former United player Ronaldo in Macedonia on Tuesday.
They have also already lost to Mourinho’s team after a penalty shoot-out in in a pre-season game in the USA a fortnight ago.
Matic impressed in a 45-minute debut as United posted their sixth win out of seven warm-ups with a 2-1 victory over Sampdoria in Dublin on Wednesday and says they are now ready to put a marker down against Real.
Of course it is always a big game when you play against Real Madrid,” said the Serbian.
“We are happy that we can compare our qualities with the winners of the Champions League.
“They showed why they are one of the biggest clubs in the world so it be an interesting game for us, very hard, but we will be ready. I’m sure we will do it.
“The whole world will be watching and it is a chance to show the rest of Europe that United are back.
“Every game is a new challenge and it is going to be the same against them.”