Manchester United have long targeted Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, and this summer had looked like the best chance they might have had of finally landing the Welshman. Bale’s teammate in attack, Cristiano Ronaldo, is seemingly linked with a return to United every summer, and this transfer window is no different.
Of course, neither deal has ever really come close to completion, and the narrative surrounding both changed greatly today with the shocking resignation announcement from Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.
The Frenchman’s stepping down will have ripple effects throughout the world of football, as Madrid search for his replacement, with a trio of Premier League London club managers amongst the leading candidates. It also remains to be seen where Zidane himself lands, and United have even been mentioned as a potential next destination.
Ronaldo said he would be leaving Madrid four days ago, and then contradicted that the very next day by confirming he would be back at the club next season.
Tuesday saw CR7’s omission from the Madrid kit launch promo video and an ESPN report claiming “all options are on the table regarding his future at Real Madrid,” and frustrations over contract extension talks, just in case you didn’t have enough mixed messages already.
This is why they call it “the silly season.”
As for the latest developments, in the wake of the Zidane news, the Daily Express write that: “Ronaldo’s Real Madrid future is up in the air with Manchester United and PSG consequently on red alert,” adding that “Diario Gol say Cristiano Ronaldo is now more determined than ever to leave.”
So maybe this is all very promising, but then again we’ve been down this road so many times before, and the end result was just a nothing burger.
Moving on to Bale, he had been considered the much more likely of the two galacticos to be on the move, but the Daily Mirror sees the Zidane exit as very bad news for United’s hopes to acquire him.
The Mirror write that United “may have been dealt a fatal blow in their pursuit of Gareth Bale. The Old Trafford giants were red-hot favourites to land the Wales international, after his fall-outs with Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and the club’s manager Zinedine Zidane.”
Of course, these are just a couple of takes on how the Zidane news affects the futures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, and there are numerous other opinions on today’s big development out there to still assess as well. Expect plenty more narratives to emerge, and lots of transfer plot twists and turns before anything gets settled too.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
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