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Are Manchester United plotting Real Madrid raid for Gareth Bale and Isco?

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The Red Devils have been linked with big-money moves for the Los Blancos duo

UD Las Palmas v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Manchester United have recently been linked with making moves to sign two Real Madrid superstars.

Last week, The Mirror reported that the Red Devils are lining up a January move for Spanish international midfielder Isco.

Isco joined Madrid from Malaga for €30 million in 2013, and has shown flashes of his huge potential at the Bernabéu, but the 24-year-old has never really been able to hold down a starting berth with the eleven-time champions of Europe.

And since Zinedine Zidane took the reins of Los Blancos in January this year, Isco has hardly featured, with the rookie manager electing to go with a midfield three of Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos; Isco has had to content himself with a place on the bench.

This lack of playing time led to Isco being omitted from Vicente del Bosque’s 23-man squad for the European Championships in the summer, and the player was linked with a potential switch to Tottenham Hotspur late in the last transfer window.

It is thought that United boss José Mourinho is keen to bolster his midfield options in January, having also been linked with a move for Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater, but there are conflicting reports over whether the Portuguese coach will be allowed to spend any money when the transfer window re-opens, having splashed out around £140 million in the summer.

There are also rumours in the Spanish media that United could already be working on a deal to bring Gareth Bale to Old Trafford next summer.

OK Diario is reporting that Bale is ready to leave the Spanish capital in the summer, and his agent has already sounded out United over a return to the Premier League.

Bale joined Madrid from Tottenham three years ago for a then-world record £85.3 million fee.

The Welshman has been a key player for La Liga giants, forming part of the ‘BBC’ attacking trident alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, twice winning the Champions League since his move to Spain.

But recent reports suggest that the 27-year-old is no longer happy in Madrid, and wants to engineer a return to the Premier League with United.

For their part, United are believed to hold a long-standing interest in the gifted winger, and are even thought to have rivalled Madrid’s bid for the player back in 2013 — reportedly offering more to Spurs that Madrid had — but Bale had already set his sights on a move to Spain.

However, a potential stumbling block for any United move for Isco or Bale, could be Madrid’s impending transfer ban.

In a similar situation which saw rivals Barcelona unable to register players for two transfer windows back in 2014, both Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid have been levied with a registration ban due to irregularities in the signing of young players.

This means that Madrid would be unable to sign and register a replacement for either player until 2018, and would mean they would be reluctant to lose any talented members of their squad.