Manchester United have been urged to snap up Gareth Bale even if they can only land the Real Madrid winger on loan, if they cannot broker a deal for Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would love to bring 20-year-old Sancho back to England with the wide-man having enjoyed three excellent years in Germany.
But Dortmund are holding firm in their £108million valuation of the England international and the Red Devils are refusing to pay that asking price.
United have agreed personal terms with the forward but there are plenty of negotiations to be had with Dortmund still if they are to sign Sancho before October 5.
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Ed Woodward and co could opt to instead chase a cheaper alternative with the likes of Douglas Costa, Kingsley Coman and Joao Felix among those linked.
But the Daily Star say that Real Madrid’s Bale is another on the list, with United having been need to bring the Welshman to Old Trafford a few years ago.
The former Tottenham attacker has spent seven seasons at the Bernabeu but in more recent years has not been handed the minutes a player of his talent perhaps deserves.
And Crouch, a former team-mate of Bale’s at Spurs, thinks the two-time PFA Players’ Player of the Year would fit in at United if they cannot agree a deal to bring Sancho to Manchester and insists the Wales international remains a “world-class” talent.
Bale earns around £600,000 a week with Los Blancos which could prove a sticking point but ex-England striker Crouch thinks even a loan deal would be good business.
“I can see Gareth Bale at Manchester United,” he told Goal, though he went on to admit signing the winger would be a risk given his injury record.
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“That would feel like the kind of club where he would fit in and instantly add something to their team and maybe put them back in the mix to win trophies.
“There are not many clubs in the world who could afford his wages, but Manchester United might be one of them and he would have an instant impact if he went there.
“I’m not sure where they are in their efforts to sign Jadon Sancho, but Bale would be an option for them and if he is available on a loan deal, he would be a great signing for any club.
“The mystery for me is why Real Madrid are so desperate to get rid of him. We don’t really know what has gone wrong for him there because he has achieved so much at that club, scoring crucial goals in Champions League finals and winning everything with them.
“At other clubs, they would be building a statue outside the ground to celebrate him, but he has been treated with disrespect by Real Madrid for a long time now.
“Clearly he needs to find a way to get out of there because he has not played enough football in recent months.
“It would be a bit of a gamble to sign him because his injury record is not great and he would need time to get up to match fitness.
“But a fit and motivated Gareth Bale is a world-class player, there is no doubt about it.”
Speaking recently to Sky Sports, Bale teased his interest in returning to the Premier League.
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He said: “If those options arise it is something I’d look at for sure.
“We’ll see what happens, we have plenty of time in this transfer window and a couple of others as well.
“Time will tell but mainly I think the reason is that the decision is in Real Madrid’s hands.
“I tried to leave last year but they blocked everything at the last second. It was a project I was excited for but it didn’t materialise.
“There have been other instances where we have tried to go but the club won’t allow it or they’ve done something. It’s down to the club.
“I want to play football, I am still motivated to play football, so I guess it’s on the club.
“They are in control of everything. I have a contract, all I can do is carry on what I am doing and hopefully something comes up.
“I am only 31 still but I feel I am in great shape still and feel like I have a lot to give. We will see what happens. It’s in the club’s hands but they make things very difficult to be honest.”
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