Bale was close to a one-year deal with China's Jiangsu Suning in the summer — worth £1million a week.
But minutes before the move was confirmed, Real blocked the transfer by demanding a transfer fee.
Sources insist that is because they knew United were keen then — and are even more determined to land a star name to rescue their season now.
Real are willing to let Bale go after a series of negative public comments from manager Zinedine Zidane — and controversy this week.
Sources close to Bale suggest he is ready to call time on his LaLiga career — and Real are prepared to do business.