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Thornley Exclusive: Man Utd fans will celebrate signing Real Madrid outcast Bale

Class of 92' graduate Ben Thornley believes Manchester United fans would welcome the signing of Gareth Bale.

The Welshman's career at Real Madrid looks finished after Zinedine Zidane's return to the capital.

Bale was once again left on the bench in Real's final day loss to Real Betis at the Bernabeu on Sunday, with the 29-year-old exiting through the tunnel after the final whistle without acknowledging the home support.

Speaking after the game, Real boss Zidane said: "I'm sorry he didn't get to play, but no-one knows what will happen.

"If I think a player doesn't fit in the team, I have to do what I think works best. No-one can change what Bale has done for the team, but as a coach I have to live in the present."

What makes the saga even more interesting is Bale's insistence that Los Blancos will have to pay him his salary in full.

According to Spanish radio station Radioestadio, Bale said to his teammates after the loss to Betis: "I've got three years left on my contract.

"If they want me to go, they'll need to pay me £15m per season. If not, I'll stay here. And if I have to play golf, I will."

Los Blancos will surely not settle for that situation and thus a transfer seems inevitable.

But where will Bale land?

The former Tottenham man has been linked with a return to north London, but his wage demands are seen as far too high for frugal Spurs chief Daniel Levy.

United have long been touted as Bale's next destination during his turbulent spell in Spain.

However, Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to emulate Sir Alex Ferguson by shifting the focus to developing young talent in the first-team after a sixth-placed finish this season.

Thornley was one of Ferguson's young talents before a horror knee injury derailed his career, and he told Tribalfootball that the arrival of Bale is a "win-win" situation for the club.

He said: "I for one would not be unhappy at all if we signed somebody of Gareth Bale's ilk. It's been well documented that things have not gone brilliantly for him recently at Real.

"I don't think too many United fans would be unhappy about having a stellar signing like him coming to the club. But I can also see with the average age of the squad that we are building for the future.

"When you think of Martial, Rashford, Luke Shaw, they are all lads that are below their mid 20's yet. You've got Diogo Dalot who's one for the future. And let's not forget Scott McTominay who was arguably our best player against PSG.

"So it wouldn't matter to me if Solskjaer [was looking at veteran players] and also the flip side of that is that we have a young squad and would somebody of Gareth Bale's class and experience help these guys as well? It is a win-win situation for me on that score."

Andrew Maclean
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Andrew Maclean

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