Thursday, 16 April 2015

Robbie Savage column: Manchester United SHOULD try to swap David de Gea for Gareth Bale this summer

I admit, I was wrong about the Reds - now they must chase a deal that could create a strike-force to rival Barcelona's and REALLY bring the fear factor back
Throw the switch! Would Bale add more to United than selling De Gea would subtract?
Fortune favours the bold, and if Manchester United want to build on their recovery, they should try to swap David De Gea for Gareth Bale.

De Gea has been United’s player of the season, no question.

He kept them afloat in the early months of the campaign, turning draws into wins with critical saves. For me, he now belongs with Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Saar among the club’s best goalkeepers of modern times.

He is the main reason my old club will be back in the Champions League next season, and he is the biggest reason why I must eat humble pie and admit:


In my post-summer transfer window predictions, I said they would finish only fifth in the Premier League. They have proved me wrong, and I apologise.

But this speculation about whether or not De Gea will sign a new contract won’t go away, and there is talk of Real Madrid looking to bring him home to Spain, so United may have to drive a hard bargain.

If De Gea does leave, I believe Louis van Gaal should move heaven and earth to bring Bale back to English football from the Bernabeu in a swap deal.

Even if Chelsea and Manchester City were also interested in signing Bale, I think he'd choose United – simply because they are the biggest club in the world and are going to be back in the Champions League in September.

There is talk of United offloading Robin van Persie and not making Radamel Falcao's loan permanent this summer, and trying to sign PSG striker Edinson Cavani.

Rooney, Bale, Cavani.

Now that is a strike-force I'd pay money to watch - a front three to compete with Messi, Neymar and Suarez at Barcelona or Ronaldo, James and Benzema at Real.

Can it happen?

Well, Van Gaal has done a fantastic job in turning the ship round at Old Trafford – I got it wrong about him, too, because for a good six months of the season I had my doubts about him – so why not?

People talked about United’s title defence under David Moyes being the worst in history after they went from first to finishing seventh in 12 months, but their revival under Van Gaal in the last month has been startling.

I feared for them, because their run-in looked difficult on paper. But the way they won at Anfield and put City to the sword in last Sunday's Manchester derby was exceptional.

The swagger is back.

The fear factor at Old Trafford is back.

If you are a visiting player and you glance across the tunnel before kick-off, you are going to think, “We’ll need to play out of our skins to get anything here.”

And if United have to lose De Gea as part of the process, so be it.

They already have Victor Valdes, Barcelona's first-choice for years and a Spain international, on board - and if they want to sign another top keeper this summer,Petr Cech looks like he will be leaving Chelsea.

Last week in my Mirror column, I said the balance of power in the Premier League might be shifting to London, around the Chelsea-Arsenal axis, next season.

But the way United have performed over their past few games, I think I probably jumped the gun with that claim - it looks like normal service has resumed at Old Trafford.


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