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Redknapp: Bale would elevate United

Published 10/06/2015

Harry Redknapp, right, believes Gareth Bale, left, remains one of the world's best players
Harry Redknapp, right, believes Gareth Bale, left, remains one of the world's best players

Gareth Bale could turn Manchester United back into Premier League champions if he decides to quit Real Madrid for Old Trafford this summer, according to Harry Redknapp.

The Wales international has been linked with a move away from Real after enduring a difficult second season in Spain.

Bale, 25, was jeered on occasion by Real Madrid supporters who felt he was not contributing as well as he had in his debut season at the Bernabeu - when he scored in both the Copa Del Rey and Champions League finals.

The former Southampton and Tottenham man has been linked with a return to England, with reports suggesting Louis van Gaal's club have already made bids to land the world's most expensive footballer.

And Redknapp, who oversaw Bale's breakthrough as a first-team regular at Spurs, believes United could return to the peak of the Premier League if they land 2013 PFA Player of the Year.

"Absolutely," Redknapp told Press Association Sport when asked if Bale could turn United from a top-four side into Premier League winners.

"If you said to me, as a Premier League manager you could have the pick of one player in the world, it would be Gareth above any other player - if he wanted to come back.

"A year ago, for me, he was the third best player in the world. He maybe has fallen behind Neymar and Luis Suarez now but he could come back here, as a fantastic footballer, and if he came back to England he could change the fortunes of a football club - he has that much ability."

Bale has stressed he is keen to remain at Real Madrid, who are now managed by former Liverpool and Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez, and prove he was worth the £85.3million the club splashed on him in the summer of 2013.

But, if any club offer enough to tempt Madrid president Florentino Perez into accepting a bid, there is still a chance Bale could leave.

Having led United back into the Champions League with a fourth-place finish, Van Gaal is likely to lead another summer spending spree this year and there is no doubt the Dutchman would love to work with a talent such as Bale.

Memphis Depay has already been signed from PSV Eindhoven and several other big names have been linked with Old Trafford - but Redknapp feels Bale is someone who can do everything required of a world-class footballer.

"He is a fantastic player, if he came back he'd be the best player in the Premier League by a mile," the ex-QPR boss added.

"He is a good lad and an amazing player. He can terrorise teams on his own.

"You saw what he did at Tottenham, the games that he won almost single-handedly. Almost every other week there was a last minute goal from Gareth.

"He is an amazing talent, he can score goals, he can make goals, he can run, he can dribble, he can shoot."

Whilst Bale's future remains unclear, one man who has made a return to the Premier League is new West Ham boss Slaven Bilic.

The 46-year-old signed a three-year deal to replace Sam Allardyce and returns to the club he represented in the 1990s under Redknapp - who has backed Bilic to succeed.

"Sam did a great job but it seemed whatever he did was never good enough for a lot of the fans," he said. "Slaven comes in as a popular figure and it is a big advantage for him to come in knowing the fans will give him a great welcome when he arrives.

"The fans like him there, I think he will be a very popular new manager at West Ham. I was sad to see Sam go, he did a good job but they have got a decent group of players for Slaven to work with and the thought of going into a new stadium is good for them and I'm sure he will do well."

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