Coleman expects Gareth Bale to stay at Real Madrid
Fellaini to play as striker for Man United
Wales manager Chris Coleman has cast doubt on speculation linking Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale with Manchester United. Bale is in Wales’ squad for Euro 2016 qualifiers against Cyprus and Israel despite concerns over a toe injury.
Although he has been the subject of interest from United and criticism from Real’s fans last season, Bale, 26, has vowed to stay in Spain. “I don’t see it [the transfer] happening,” said Coleman. “You never know but I’ve not heard anything.”
The transfer window closes at 18:00 BST on Tuesday, 1 September, and United are expected to be busy before the deadline after missing out on Spain forward Pedro, who signed for Chelsea.
Bale, who joined Real for a world-record fee of £85.3m in 2013, has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford. But Coleman, who has previously said he would like the Wales forward to stay at the Bernabeu, cannot see Bale leaving.
The finances involved for signing a player like that are astronomical,” he added. “I see the media speculation, of course, but that’s a major, major deal – another world record if he was going to move. “I can’t see anything happening. I’ve not heard anything.”
Meanwhile, Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal said Marouane Fellaini will play in attack rather than midfield this season before Wednesday’s Champions League play-off tie at Club Brugge.
Fellaini came off the bench to score a late third goal as United won the first leg 3-1 against the Belgian side. “This year he’ll be more a number nine or 10 than at six or eight,” said Van Gaal of the Belgium international, 27. Keeper David De Gea, a Real Madrid target, is not in the United squad.
The Old Trafford club have bolstered their midfield options this summer by signing France international Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger, a World Cup winner with Germany.
They missed out on Spain forward Pedro, who signed for Chelsea from Barcelona for £21.1m last Thursday, and have been linked with several strikers during this transfer window, which closes on 1 September.
But Van Gaal, 64, has insisted his side do not need a new forward, despite United scoring only twice in three Premier League games this season. Netherlands forward Memphis Depay scored two against Club Brugge last week, but England captain Wayne Rooney is yet to get off the mark.
Fellaini, who played up front at times for Van Gaal last season, said: “I have played number nine and number 10 to help the team. “It’s not important where I play, the most important thing is to win the game. It’s different to play midfield, striker or number 10, but I enjoy all the positions I can play in.”