MANCHESTER UNITED are ready to offer Gareth Bale a short-term deal after losing patience over Jadon Sancho.
United want to take the Real Madrid star on loan for a season initially but with the option to renegotiate that for a further year.
Bale, 31, has two years left on his current £650,000-a-week Real Madrid contract.
He would have to take a wage cut with United and Real may even have to pay part of it.
Real could demand an upfront transfer fee of £18.5million rather than a loan.
But United are now seriously looking into all options.
The news has left Sancho sweating as he was convinced his switch from Borussia Dortmund to Old Trafford would go through this summer or in the New Year window.
United had agreed personal terms with the England international.
They have also recently resolved the issue of the agents cut of the deal which had been a major stumbling block.
But they will still not match the £108m valuation the Bundesliga side have put on the player.
United believe that is way too high for a 20-year-old in the current financial climate with all football clubs hit hard by the Covid-19 lockdown.
While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s policy is to get in young hungry players to grow with United, he is not averse to signing a seasoned international like Bale while bringing another player through in that wide position.
Bale’s experience, particularly in Europe, is a big attraction with United now back in the Champions League which the Welsh international has won four times.
The arrival of Bale would end a long-running saga with United constantly linked to the player down the years.
Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes and Jose Mourinho all tried to sign him.
United boss Moyes and Executive Vice-Chairman Ed Woodward even had a helicopter waiting to bring him to Carrington on the day he flew out to sign for Real Madrid in 2013.
United meanwhile will not sign another defender until they can offload one of their own.
They are interested in Real Madrid left-back Sergio Reguilon who would cost £23m.
But they currently have an excess in the defence department with Marcus Rojo, Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling still on their books but not wanted by manager Ole Solskjaer.
United are trying to negotiate the sale of Smalling to Roma, where he impressed on loan last season, but the Serie A club are yet to match the £20m asking price.
So far this summer United have made just one addition to their squad with the signing of Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek for £39m.