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Thursday 8 December 2016

Robson backs Bale for United

Published 04/08/2015 | 00:08

Gareth Bale's form has dipped since winning the Champions League in the summer of 2014
Gareth Bale's form has dipped since winning the Champions League in the summer of 2014

Bryan Robson thinks Gareth Bale would be an ideal signing for Manchester United in the wake of Angel di Maria's impending departure to Paris St Germain.

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Di Maria landed in Doha on Sunday night to put the finishing touches to his £44.3million move to PSG.

United have been linked with a number of big names in the transfer market - including that of Bale - since Louis van Gaal admitted he has concerns about a lack of creativity and pace in his squad.

Robson feels the United manager would be wise to move for the Real Madrid forward now that the Dutchman can no longer count on Di Maria.

"Bringing Bale in would be a really good signing if it was to happen," said Robson, discussing the launch of ESPN's Greatest Sporting Cities research, which was commissioned to discover the UK's top city to be a fan.

"The good thing with Bale, and this is what the manager likes, is he can play in two different positions - he can play wide coming in and also as a centre-forward.

"It will be really difficult but if the manager can add him to the squad I think he will be a happy man."

For now, the chances of Bale leaving Real Madrid look slim. Manager Rafael Benitez insists Bale will stay at the Bernabeu and the former Tottenham player is happy to remain despite being criticised by the club's fans last season.

Robson, meanwhile, refused to criticise Di Maria for the manner of his exit from United.

Some supporters reacted angrily to the news that their club-record signing wanted out after just one year at the club.

Robson is more philosophical on the matter, though, and called on fans to accept the club's decision to sell the £59.7million signing.

"I think they both accepted the fact that it's probably better for the player to move on," the former United captain said.

Di Maria's spell at United started off promisingly, but his form soon deteriorated and he only started one of the final 10 games of last season.

Robson feels Di Maria never really adapted to the physicality of the Barclays Premier League.

"He's a proven top-class player but the Premier League didn't particularly suit him," said Robson, who played 461 times for United.

"Towards the end of the season he was very disappointing.

"He looked really short of confidence."

:: ESPN's Greatest Sporting Cities research was commissioned to discover the UK's best city to be a fan. Visit www.ESPN.co.uk or use #ESPNUKcities to find out more.

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