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Real Madrid issue Gareth Bale hands-off warning

The Bale dream is already dead.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

The faint hope Manchester United may have had of springing another dramatic transfer window surprise and bringing Gareth Bale to Old Trafford for a fee of over £90 million has seemingly been dashed. The Spanish club's president, Florentino Pérez, has issued a hands-off warning, in which he described his side's Welsh wing wonder as priceless.

"We have not received an offer from Manchester or any other club for Gareth Bale," Pérez told Spanish newspaper Marca, via the Independent. "We would never listen to any offer for Bale, no matter what the fee."

Of course, this kind of statement is bandied about all of the time, and it isn't definitive by any means. However, Pérez's certainty suggests he isn't keen to let Bale go -- perhaps not even if United goalkeeper David de Gea is thrown into negotiations. If United are to make a splash in January, it probably won't be Bale who arrives.