Manchester United are launching a £60 million offer for Tottenham star Gareth Bale. The Mirror says the move for the Welshman is thought to be one of the reasons why United's vice chairman Ed Woodward is returning early from their pre-season tour of the Far East and Australia.

Spurs are desperate not to lose Bale, last year's Footballer of the Year, and have so far resisted United's approach.

But the Old Trafford giants are keen to put the damaging publicity surrounding the future of Wayne Rooney behind them.

They know that buying Bale - who has been linked with Real Madrid throughout the off-season - would give Moyes, his players and the United supporters a huge boost.

And his arrival, as well as continued interest in Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas and at least one other high-profile signing, would soften the blow of Rooney's expected move to Chelsea.