Football News

Gareth Bale is the ‘only statement signing’ Man Utd can make, says Shaka Hislop

By Chris Smith

Published: 22:20, 8 June 2019

Former West Ham United goalkeeper Shaka Hislop believes Gareth Bale is Manchester United’s most realistic chance of making a statement signing this summer.

Despite an initial bounce under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Red Devils stumbled to a sixth-placed finish in the Premier League last season, while they failed to go beyond the quarter-finals in any of the three cup competitions they competed in.

But with the signing of Welsh winger Daniel James from Swansea City, Solskjaer’s summer revamp of his squad is well underway, although more players will be needed if they are even to challenge for top four places again next season.

And Hislop, who now works as a pundit on ESPN, believes James’ fellow Wales international could represent a solution to United’s problems, while Bale himself has become something of an outcast at Real Madrid.

“I think there’s any number of Premier League clubs who would take a chance on Gareth Bale at the right price,” Hislop said. “I understand the concern [over his fitness].

“But for instance, talking about the Premier League, Manchester United could do with a signing like Gareth Bale.

“Whether Gareth Bale would go there without Champions League football is another discussion.

“Right now we’re talking about where he can fit and what club would be willing to take a chance on a player like Gareth Bale, even at the money that he would come at.

“If you spread his salary out over five years you’re talking somewhere around £200,000-250,000-a-week which is about where they’re paying their top players.

“I know Alexis Sanchez is a little bit of an exception but we’ll try to disregard that.

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“I think United take a chance.

“I think United need a statement signing and there is no other player who will qualify as a statement signing that will go to Manchester United right now.”

Bale’s 2018/19 hell: Five key things to know…

  1. Bale came off the bench and scored twice in the 2018 Champions League final.
  2. Despite his Kiev heroics, the 29-year-old started just 21 La Liga games last term.
  3. Bale was an unused substitute on the final day of the La Liga season.
  4. Reports suggest Zinedine Zidane is ready to part ways with Bale, following Eden Hazard’s signing from Chelsea.
  5. Hislop believes Bale represents United’s best shot at a statement signing this summer.