Scholes backs Bale to make Man Utd move

Could Bale join Rooney and co at Man Utd next season?

Could Bale join Rooney and co at Man Utd next season?

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has backed his Old Trafford to splash the cash and sign Gareth Bale from Real Madrid this summer.

Bale has been heavily linked with a move to join Louis van Gaal's side in recent weeks, with Real Madrid keen to engineer a deal that would see United keeper David De Gea make a switch to the Spanish capital.

While a deal to sign the player Real Madrid paid £86m to capture from Tottenham in the summer of 2013 wouldn't be cheap, Scholes suggests a move for Bale would be money well spent.

"My feeling is that he would be perfect for Manchester United," said Scholes of Bale in his Independent column.

"Of course, as a fan of my former club I would like to see him there but, looking at it objectively, I always felt that Bale was a natural fit for United as he developed at Tottenham from a left-back into one of the best attacking footballers in the country.

"For any footballer who plays for Real Madrid in the modern era, the prospect of leaving the club must feel like a step down no matter where they go – but it does not have to be like that.

"When it comes to Gareth Bale’s career, it looks like he is approaching a decision that will shape the rest of his life as a footballer.

"He would be loved at Old Trafford. In return I believe he could turn Louis van Gaal’s team into serious title contenders next season.

"All good players need to be appreciated. Bale would be coming to United in a time of change when the team is looking for leaders, but the club is trying to move towards stability in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era."

However, there are reports in Spain that Bale will reject any proposals to make a move back to the Premier League next summer, as he has insisted he is happy in Madrid despite being jeered by sections of the home support in recent weeks.

Would United fans be happy with a swap deal that would see De Gea move to Real Madrid and Bale arrive at Old Trafford? 

Let us know at @SWorldSport.

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Daniel Sturridge ‘out for a month’ with injury

Sturridge is injured yet again

Sturridge is injured yet again

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is set for yet another spell on the sidelines after reports emerged that he will miss most of April with a muscle injury.

Sturridge missed most of the second half of 2014 with a combination of fitness problems and only returned to action in late January, with his comeback helping to inspire a revival in Liverpool's season.

Yet after pulling out of the latest England squad due to injury, it has now emerged that Sturridge has suffered a fresh fitness setback and may miss Liverpool's next few crucial Premier League games, as well as their FA Cup semi-final against Blackburn at Wembley next month.

“I’m a little bit disappointed for Daniel Sturridge, because when he came to us he didn’t really feel that the slight problem he felt was really any problem at all,” revealed England manager Roy Hodgson.

“When we did the scan and it turned out that there was a problem he was absolutely devastated because he didn’t want to leave us.

“There was no option because he has a slight tear and you can’t play through that.”

The news will come as a hammer blow to Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, who was hoping to get his side back on track after the international break as they look to bounce back from the 2-1 home defeat against Manchester United last weekend.

Republic of Ireland youngsters off to a flying start

Dylan Connolly scored the Ireland winner against Andorra

Dylan Connolly scored the Ireland winner against Andorra

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND UNDER 21s: 1 ANDORRA UNDER-21s: 0

Dylan Connolly's lone strike was enough to ensure a winning start to the Republic of Ireland's European Under-21s Championship qualifying campaign.

The Ipswich winger struck 14 minutes before the break at Waterford RSC in front of senior boss Martin O'Neill and his assistant Roy Keane (below) to hand Noel King's youngsters the three points they had targeted to ensure their efforts to make it out of Group 2 began in positive fashion.

Ireland dominated throughout but were repeatedly thwarted by Andorra keeper Victor Silverio Pinto, who made a string of saves to keep the visitors in contention until the final whistle.

Ultimately, it was Connolly's 31st-minute effort which won the day as the keeper could only parry striker Conor Wilkinson's shot and Kenny McEvoy set him up to score.

The visitors thought they had levelled with nine minutes remaining when Aaron Sanchez Alburquerque headed past keeper Danny Rogers, but an offside flag ended his celebrations.

Pinto denied Callum O'Dowda and substitute Sean Maguire as time ran down to keep his side in the hunt, but all to no avail.

The Republic, however, will face sterner tests as they attempt to emerge from a group which also includes Italy, Serbia, Slovenia and Lithuania if they are to make it to Poland.

King's side will travel to Andorra in September for the return fixture before back-to-back clashes with Lithuania and Italy in October.