Comment: Gareth Bale’s move to Real Madrid is huge mistake – Old Trafford would give him the silverware

By Samson Dada

Gareth Bale could be on his way to Real Madrid for a sensational £86million within days – yet if there is an offer on the table from Manchester United, he’d be a fool not to head to Old Trafford.

It is understandable for any footballer to seize an opportunity to play alongside the world’s most gifted players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, but Real Madrid’s appeal is not what it was.

The club has failed to clinch the European Cup since 2002 and came home trophy-less last season. Adding salt to the wound, arch-rivals Barcelona comprehensively beat them by 15 points to regain the La Liga title.

Madrid also failed to win the consolidation prize of the Copa del Rey after a shock 2-1 defeat to Atlético Madrid.

Bale has a higher likelihood of challenging for domestic and European honours at United – just look at their track record.

And United will be hungrier than ever to regain the Premier League after last season’s record breaking 20th title, not to mention trying to prove it wasn’t quite all down to Sir Alex.

With a bit of luck, the Red Devils are capable of winning the Champions League this season. They could have beaten Madrid in the last 16 of the competition and gone on to win the final, had it not been for a wayward decision seeing Nani sent off.

He could end up being another Galáctico in a team of Galácticos, where the team is not built around him – which spoiled him at Tottenham Hotspur.

Midfielder Luka Modrić and striker Karem Benzema are examples of leading players at their former clubs Tottenham and Lyon who now seem average squad players in a team with superstars like Ronaldo and Kaká.

Their futures might lie elsewhere after being linked with moves to Manchester United and Arsenal this summer.

Whereas at United, Bale would be a guaranteed starter on the left-wing, providing an much-needed boost into the Red’s flagging midfield, no doubt becoming an indispensable member of the first-team alongside Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.

Moving to Madrid will be a huge change for Bale, even if his former team-mate Modrić is at the club to give him a sense of familiarity from back home. He will face a club and country with a different culture than the one he had hitherto experienced.

Former Real Madrid striker Michael Owen painted a less than desirable picture of life off the pitch for an ex-pat in his August Daily Telegraph column.

The Los Blancos provided a hotel for him and his family for five months that was not suited to a young family.

This was compounded by restaurants in Spain not opening until late at night, so his two-year-old daughter was awake until midnight.

Given that Bale has a partner and a young child, finding himself in a situation where his family are unsettled, is something that he should consider when weighing up the merits of moving to a foreign country.

Playing in Manchester would give him the pick of any mansion in Alderley Edge. He would be helped to settle into the club by its seasoned veterans like fellow Welshman Ryan Giggs.

One wonders whether it is sensible for him to move to a club who lack managerial stability.

Since Bale was born in 1989, none of Real’s managers have been in charge for more than four years.

While Moyes is new, he’s likely to still be seen as a long-term prospect, irrespective of how much silverware United haul in.

The board at United will give him the long-term stability that Sir Alex Ferguson enjoyed during his 27-year reign despite a disappointing third place finish at the end of the 2003-2004 season.

Will those who follow in the footsteps of Real boss Carlo Ancelotti consider Bale as integral to the squad?

If Bale’s desire is to fulfil a boyhood dream of becoming a Galáctico, with the added bonus of scorching heat that Manchester cannot offer all year, then perhaps he should be looking into flights to Madrid.

But beyond the glittering Santiago Bernabéu, history and weather, and before booking a one-way ticket to the continent, Bale should pause and ask himself: how good is that weather going to be without a mountain of silverware to sit on?

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