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£60m bid for Premier League star behind Woodward’s return?

Gareth-Bale-1824819If ever proof was needed that the summer transfer window does indeed deserve the “silly season” label, over the last couple of days United have provided abundant evidence that June, July and August fully deserve the nickname. United’s transfer window has so far resembled a soap opera, floating between the farcical and the hilarious and, at least judging by today’s newspapers, there are no improvements on the horizons.

Let’s start with Ed Woodward‘s decision to abandon United’s tour in Australia to fly back to Europe to attend “urgent transfer business” which, one would hope, at least categorically rules that good old Ed has only come back to secure a deal with an Indonesian ice-cream factor or some other sort of sponsors which, these days, seems to be more important for United than signing players.

United have denied that Woodward’s return was linked with Wayne Rooney’s future, rather United’s executive vice-chairman is expected to work on a new signing, which is where the lottery of names begins. The Guardian believes that Woodward’s return means a bid for one between Cesc Fabregas, Marouane Fellaini or Leighton Baines is imminent, while not ruling out that he might have returned to Manchester to sort of the ongoing Wayne Rooney saga.

The Mirror, however, believes the real reason behind Woodward’s return is that United are poised to offer £60m to Spurs for Gareth Bale, a bid that would partly financed by the sale of Wayne Rooney to either Chelsea or Arsenal.

Last season’s Footballer of the Year had been linked with United earlier this summer, before Real Madrid emerged as the only serious contenders to prize the Welshman away from White Hart Lane, only to be met with a stubborn refusal by Spurs’ chairman Daniel Levy, who has made clear his intention to keep his prized asset at the club.

With Spurs desperate not to sell Bale to a Premier League rival, United’s options appear limited and even though Bale could be tempted by the prospect of playing Champions League football next season, United would have to fork out in the excess of £60m – perhaps even more – to secure one of the signings of the summer.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect about the Mirror’s story is that the paper is adamant that Bale’s arrival wouldn’t prevent Cesc Fabregas and another top signing to join David Moyes’ squad, in which Wayne Rooney is extremely unlikely to feature come August 17.

The striker was yesterday subject to a £20m offer from Chelsea, as Blues manager Jose Mourinho publicly admitted his club’s interest in the United number 10: “Chelsea is interested in the player. Chelsea made an official bid.

“What we did, we did officially, between our club and Man United, and we have nothing more to say about it,” said Mourinho.

“We can say nothing else. There is nothing else to say.

“We want the player. We are interested in the player. We made the bid.”

Arsenal, however, are emerging as serious contenders for Rooney with the Guardian and the Daily Mail reporting that Arsene Wenger won’t be put off by Wayne Rooney’s £250,000-a-week salary.

“We have not the problem of the wages of Wayne Rooney but it’s very difficult for us to talk about any specific case. We work well but we are not close to sign anybody. The competition in Europe is very hard at the moment. There’s a lot of money and not many players,” said Wenger, “It happened to us, it can happen to them.”