Why, #batcoutry? Why do you toy with my emotions like this? The latest from the dark and frightening corners of the transfer rumor wilds indicates that Real Madrid are willing to sell Gareth Bale to Manchester United this summer for a £90m deal, sending our beloved Welsh prince back to England and reducing Spurs fans everywhere to quivering puddles of emotion.
Yes, this is very, very much a #batcountry story. Let's break it down here a little:
1. There are no quotes. There aren't even the barest whispers of quotes from anything even remotely connected to this story. In fact, the only quotation marks I found anywhere on the page were in the "Recommended Story" section towards the bottom.
2. It's the Daily Express. On the hierarchy of Trustworthy English Transfer Rumor Sources™, this paper ranks right around MARCA.
3. Why would he leave? Bale hasn't even been in Spain for 18 months, has been spectacular when he's been healthy and on the pitch, and there aren't any really credible reports indicating that he's unhappy in Madrid.
4. Injury history. Bale hasn't exactly been the healthiest of £85m-valued footballers, and has had his share of injury concerns. £90m is a pretty big gamble on a player who may or may not have parts that are made of glass, especially when you're Manchester United and already have lots of wingers and no defense.
However, the one thing that this rumor has going for it is that United is one of only a handful of clubs that could afford to sign Bale in his prime. Manchester United, PSG, Chelsea, and Manchester City are at present the only clubs that would have a realistic shot of prying Bale out of Spain and affording his wages. If United decide that they want to be the Real Madrid reclamation home after signing Angel Di Maria this summer and making a play for Cristiano Ronaldo, they're well situated to give it a shot.
All this adds up to a pretty emphatic LOLOLOLOLOLO on the transfer rumor front and don't believe a word of it. That said, if it happens, I will throw things and kick random dogs on the street and then go home, eat a whole tub of Betty Crocker frosting, put on the Smiths, and cry. Please don't do this to me, Gareth.