Paul Scholes would love to see Gareth Bale in a Manchester United shirt next season but feels a potential transfer is unrealistic.
Bale ended a frustrating season at Real Madrid on a high with the match-winning goals in Saturday’s 3-1 Champions League final victory over Liverpool.
The Wales forward, whose double after he came on as a substitute included an audacious overhead kick, hinted after the game that he may be willing to leave Madrid as he needs to be starting games regularly.
United great Scholes believes every fan at Old Trafford would be excited by the prospect of Bale’s arrival, although he concedes a deal is unlikely.
“Can I see it happening? No, not really,” said Scholes, speaking at an official UEFA Champions League Final viewing party at London’s Sky Garden.
“The only reason he’d want to leave Real Madrid would be if they wanted him to go.
“Could he come to Man United then? I hope so.
“Every United fan would want him: great ability, great talent, scores great goals.
“If it’s possible then, yeah, great, I hope it happens. But I don’t see it happening.”
Bale, who cost Real around £85million to sign from Tottenham in 2013, is reported to have been on United’s radar for a number of years.
The 28-year-old was on the bench in Kiev having become a peripheral figure at the Bernabeu this season, but he quickly underlined his value to Zinedine Zidane’s side with a superb cameo.
Success for the LaLiga club meant they earned the title of European champions for a third successive year, while Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to win five Champions League medals.
Scholes, who spent six seasons playing alongside Ronaldo at United, hailed his former team-mate’s achievements as “amazing” and said he was the best player in the world.
“When we had him as a 19-year-old kid, he came over, we knew he was amazing, we knew he had talent,” Scholes said of the Portugal forward.
“Did we ever think he’d go on to do what he’s done? No, probably not, because you just can’t predict what he’s done, it’s been amazing.
“The amount of goals he’s scored and the trophies he’s won – five Champions Leagues, it’s amazing.
“He deserves everything he gets because he’s such a hard-working lad, he looks after himself, he’s professional, he’s so determined to be the best player in the world and he’s managed to achieve that.”
United have not lifted the Premier League trophy since Scholes retired alongside his former manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.
The club have also struggled to make an impact in the Champions League during that period, failing to qualify for the tournament twice and being knocked out in the group stages on another occasion.
Scholes, who tasted European Cup glory with United in 1999 and 2008, thinks the club must strengthen their squad and establish themselves as a force domestically before they can consider further European glory.
“I think they need to worry about the league first – the league’s the most important thing,” added the 43-year-old.
“They haven’t really been close for the last five seasons. They need to concentrate on that and then the next step is Champions League.
“They need to play better, there’s no doubt about that, and maybe they need some better players.
“We’ll have to wait and see but it’s not a given because there are so many top teams in the competition already, you have to be a special team to get to semi-finals and finals.
“Liverpool and Madrid have shown that and United need to get to that level.”
:: UEFA celebrated the global reach of the Champions League Final by hosting three official viewing parties in London, Rio and Shanghai. For further information: @championsleague #UCLParty