Jose Mourinho was seen embracing long-time rumoured transfer target Gareth Bale in the tunnel prior to Manchester United’s penalty shootout win over Real Madrid on Sunday evening.
The Red Devils had David de Gea to thank for securing bragging rights in the shootout, with Casemiro having levelled the scores in normal time from the penalty spot after Jesse Lingard gave United the lead following some superb skill from Anthony Martial.
Before the game, Mourinho made a point of shaking hands with the Real players – some of whom he coached when in charge of Los Blancos four years ago.
United have long held an interest in signing Bale, stretching all the way back to when he was at Tottenham, though Mourinho had distanced himself from any move in the build-up to Sunday’s International Champions Cup friendly in Santa Clara, California.
Asked if Bale was in the same category as ‘mission impossible’ Cristiano Ronaldo, Mourinho replied: ‘The same [as Ronaldo]. You have contacts and feelings, you understand things, and it was clear that Bale likes Madrid, the challenge and situation.
‘They are in a very good situation now and I never felt a desire for him to leave, so why waste time on it? No.’
Jose Mourinho hugs Gareth Bale in the tunnel and whispers in his ear as Man Utd beat Real
Mourinho is known to want to sign a new winger this summer, alongside a defensive midfielder, though so far efforts to sign No.1 target Ivan Perisic have been unsuccessful.
Inter are playing hardball over the Croatian, believed to be demanding as much as £50 million, and Mourinho has intimated in press conferences that he may have to do without any more signings this summer.