Neville urges Manchester United to sign Bale in potential De Gea deal

Real Madrid are keen on acquiring the Spanish goalkeeper this summer, and the former right-back believes Louis van Gaal’s side should receive the Welshman in part exchange

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has urged the club to test Real Madrid’s resolve with a bid for Gareth Bale should the Spanish giants make an offer for goalkeeper David De Gea.

De Gea has been strongly linked with a move to the Bernabeu as he approaches the final year of his contract, but United moved to deny reports emanating from Spain on Saturday that Real had agreed a deal to acquire the 24-year-old.

Real are believed to have identified De Gea as the long-term successor to Iker Casillas, and United manager Louis van Gaal admitted on Sunday that De Gea faces a “difficult” decision over his future, though he admits that the club have already lined up potential replacements.

Bale is a long-standing target of United’s, with the club having made an offer to sign the forward from Tottenham before he joined Real, and Neville believes that Van Gaal’s side should look to finally acquire the Welshman if Real table a concrete approach for De Gea.

“Real Madrid are particularly aggressive,” he said in his Sky Sports podcast.

“They have been previously and once a player only has a year left on his contract Manchester United have a decision to make if Real do come for him, as it looks like they will.

“Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool will all want Gareth Bale. So if you are going to give Real a player I think it would make sense to try and get Bale and steal him in return for De Gea.”

Neville has stressed that United should be doing everything within their power to keep De Gea, but he senses that the 24-year-old’s future has already been settled.

“You saw the fans, they were singing his name (in the 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Sunday),” he added. “They are singing his name in appreciation of the season he’s had.

“He’s been Manchester United’s player of the season and they’ll be saying, ‘please stay’.

“With his form this season I was always hopeful he’d stay but with the wave of noise in the press it just looked to have an inevitability about it.”