Manchester United have been given a major boost in their quest to bring in Gareth Bale to Old Trafford, with reports suggesting Real Madrid are willing to sell the Welshman.
Bale has been linked with a move to Manchester United in recent weeks, with Louis Van Gaal turning his attentions to the former Tottenham forward after realising Cristiano Ronaldo would stay with Real Madrid for the foreseeable future.
Reports suggested Manchester United were willing to spend a world transfer fee to bring in Bale next summer, and the chances of that happening grew considerably with the latest reports claiming Real Madrid were open to a sale.
Bale has had an injury-hampered season this campaign, unable to string a few matches together consistently. That has led to other players in the seriously deep Real Madrid side stake their claim in the starting XI.
One of them is Isco, who had an outstanding game against Barcelona in the El Clasico on Saturday. Madrid-based Spanish newspaper Marca conducted a poll recently asking their readers to pick one of Bale or Isco as their preferred starter, and over 80 percent of them picked the Spaniard.
Of course, it is easy to get impressed by a player after one grand display and that too in such a big game.
Bale, though, has also stepped up on the big occasion time and again, and was crucial to Real Madrid winning two titles last season, with the 25-year-old scoring the winners in the Copa Del Rey Final against Barcelona and the Champions League final against Atletico Madrid.
Considering all that, it is difficult to see Carlo Ancelotti sanctioning a move for Bale, even if the manager at Real Madrid very rarely has too much of a say in transfers.
A report in Fichajes suggests that Real Madrid are considering the possibility of letting Bale go, with Ancelotti apparently a lot happier with Isco. The Spain international does give Real Madrid a better option defensively than Bale, and the Welshman's injury issues have also caused a few frowns at the club.
Manchester United have reportedly offered Bale £300,000 a week to join them, while they will also be willing to stump up a transfer fee of £90 million to get their man.
Having made such a huge investment in Bale, it is difficult to see Real Madrid selling the player, but if Van Gaal and Manchester United are able to pull the transfer off, it will be a major coup, and a signing that could lead then back to the English Premier League summit.