Jose Mourinho's ‘bullying’ of Luke Shaw is in danger of damaging Manchester United’s bid to sign Gareth Bale from Real Madrid this summer.
United have asked about the Wales forward in almost every transfer window since he moved to Madrid from Tottenham for £85.3million in 2013.
There is growing belief at Old Trafford that Bale, who became Wales’s record goal-scorer with a hat-trick in China on Thursday, could leave the Bernabeu at the end of the season. However, the Welshman and defender Shaw are part of the same agency, and
Bale’s representatives have concerns over their star client signing for United while Mourinho is in charge.
Privately, they are furious over Mourinho’s handling of Shaw, who was substituted at half-time against Brighton and criticised in public again.
Those close to the player believe Mourinho’s treatment is tantamount to bullying.
It seems likely that the 22-year-old left back, who was left out of the England squad to face Holland and Italy, will leave at the end of the season after a difficult four-year spell at Old Trafford.
Mourinho confirmed his interest in Bale when United and Real met in the European Super Cup in August and the 28-year-old is said to be open-minded about his future.
Bale’s contract has four years to run and is worth a total of £500,000 a week, meaning only United, Manchester City and Chelsea could afford to bring him back to the Premier League.