There is no substance to claims that Manchester United could make a late bid for Real Madrid striker Gareth Bale, Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has revealed on Twitter. Bale suffered with injuries last season and has come in for criticism as a result, but Ballague believes that he is going nowhere.

If the Welshman is looking for a return to the Premier League, then it does seem possible that United would step up and make a move. However, it’s clear that no move is on the cards before the transfer window closes at 11pm on Thursday. That may not come as a surprise to many, but the excitement of a potential move for Bale could have sparked up the final few days of the window.

In more concerning news, less reliable Spanish outlet Don Balon have suggested that Barcelona could make a move for United centre forward Marcus Rashford next summer. They say that the youngster could be a long term replacement for former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.

Rashford has come through the youth ranks at Old Trafford and it seems improbable that he would be keen to leave. However, with Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic for competition in a central striking role this season, he could grow frustrated if he does not get regular first team opportunities.

However, there could still be movement in and out of Manchester before Thursday’s transfer deadline. The Manchester Evening News say that five players could leave, either on loan or permanently, including striker James Wilson, midfielders Scott McTominay and Matty Willock and defenders Axel Tuanzebe and Joe Riley.

Willock, Wilson and Riley, as the oldest of the five, are most likely to leave permanently and have not been included heavily in the first team by Jose Mourinho. However, McTominay and Tuanzebe trained with the first team during pre-season and are unlikely to be allowed to leave on a permanent basis.