Gareth Bale is one of the hottest properties in English football and has been linked with a summer move to a host of leading European clubs.
If the rumours are to be believed, Tottenham Hotspur might struggle to keep hold of the Welsh wing wonder beyond the end of the season despite the fact that manager Harry Redknapp has slapped a £50million price-tag on his star man.
Having already been linked with a £40m move to Inter Milan – the side that Bale scored a sensational hat-trick against for Spurs at the San Siro in the Champions League, the Metro is now reporting that Manchester United and Chelsea are tracking the player with a view to a summer swoop.
The White Hart Lane chief has repeatedly said that Bale is not for sale but admits he fully expects to be knocking back offers for the Wales international once the transfer window reopens in June.
“Gareth Bale is a £50million player,” Redknapp suggested after the recent transfer that saw Chelsea bring Fernando Torres to Stamford Bridge for the same price.
Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti has been instructed to oversee a summer clear-out by Chelsea owners, and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has already sent a signal of intent that he is prepared to back the manager with the money to freshen up an ageing Chelsea squad.
Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson meanwhile have been long-term admirers of the 21-year-old star, having tracked Bale when he first broke onto the scene at Southampton.
“We tried to sign him as a 17-year-old boy and made a good offer but they turned it down,” he explained.
“I think they must have alerted Tottenham, I don’t know the full circumstances.”
The Red Devils may revisit the possibility of bringing Bale to Old Trafford in the summer after Ferguson singled the player out as making the ‘best contribution’ for Spurs this season, and are prepared to make a viable offer that could spark a bidding war for the much coveted Tottenham star.