The sacking of Rafa Benitez would have been met with a nod of approval not just from the Real Madrid fans, but also the higher-ups at Manchester United, who now know one of their most coveted targets could be available in the summer.

Gareth Bale to Manchester United has been a transfer story from the forward's time with Tottenham, and now it is set to rumble back into the spotlight following Real Madrid president Florentino Perez's decision to end Benitez's reign.

Benitez and Bale reportedly enjoyed a good relationship and one of the Spaniard's major tasks handed to him by Perez was to make the Welshman the main man at Real Madrid. Benitez did not quite manage to do that, and Bale could now be open to a move away from Real Madrid, according to the Guardian.

Manchester United have been trailing Bale for quite a while now and reportedly failed in a bid to sign the Wales international before he made his move to Real Madrid two-and-a-half years ago.

Ed Woodward, the Manchester United executive vice chairman and the man who makes all the major decisions, is keen on signing a big name, someone who can immediately lift the profile of the club both on and off the pitch.

The signing of Angel Di Maria might have gone south quickly, but Bale, if possible, will hold much less risk, owing to the 27-year-old's experience of playing in the Premier League. A dynamic, speedy attacker, who can score plenty of goals and has experience is just what Manchester United need at the moment, and there is little doubting Bale's signature will turn the club into immediate title contenders, if not the favourites.

Such is the impact the Welshman will have, and therefore, Manchester United are willing to pay a hefty fee to land the forward from Real Madrid, with the Daily Mirror reporting the amount will have to be higher than £75million – you would think, it will have to be a lot more than that.

However, much will also depend on how Bale gets on with new Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, who has previously stated his admiration for the former Spurs attacker. If Zidane finds a way to get Bale back on board and convinces the Welshman his future remains at Real Madrid, Manchester United could be disappointed yet again in their chase for that marquee superstar.

The Premier League club have also been linked with Neymar of Barcelona, while a return for Cristiano Ronaldo can never really be ruled out.