Belfast Telegraph

Biting back: When even simplest figures don't add up

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts. With John Laverty

The back page headline screamed that Manchester United had lined up a swap deal with Real Madrid, with David de Gea going one way and Gareth Bale the other.

This is complete nonsense, of course. Typical transfer-window fodder.

It's what you'd call a two-plus-two story; add two and two together and get... well, whatever you want.

Our hack at a national tabloid had melded together two unrelated facts and, from that liaison, his 'world exclusive' was born.

Fact 1: Real Madrid are in the market for a new goalkeeper to replace Iker Casillas and their principal target is De Gea, who has 18 months of his current United deal to run.

Fact 2: Manchester United were keen to sign Bale before the Welshman opted for Real Madrid; indeed, the Red Devils actually offered more for the then Spurs player than the world record £86m the Spanish giants eventually shelled out.

Ergo, it's a fair assumption that United might still be interested in the player, and might even ask about his availability should Real come calling for De Gea this summer.

But that's a far cry from 'lining up a swap deal', and an even further yell from a world exclusive. For a start, United will try everything in their power to fend off an approach from the European champions.

Meanwhile, here's one other fact our tabloid hack didn't report this week: "I don't see myself at United. I am very happy here. I have many years left on my contract (2019). I feel the support and love of the fans at the Bernabéu..." (Gareth Bale. On Tuesday).

Belfast Telegraph

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph