Real Madrid are preparing to make a move for Gareth Bale and could lodge a €40 million (£33m) bid for the Tottenham star, according to reports.
Bale has established himself as one of the best wide players in Europe over the past two seasons, and struck a sublime hat-trick in the north London club’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa on Boxing Day.
The Welshman has previously expressed a desire to ply his trade abroad and play regular Champions League football, although he did commit his future to Spurs over the summer by penning a new long-term contract.
That, and Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas’ insistence that Bale is ‘priceless’, has not stopped speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid, and Spanish newspaper Marca claim that Los Blanocs are preparing to open with Spurs over a potential summer switch.
The paper claims a move was discussed last summer as Luka Modric completed his switch from White Hart Lane to the Bernebeu, however Spurs insisted he was not for sale.
According to Marca, they will be given first refusal when Tottenham do eventually start listening to offers however.
As part of Modric’s transfer the two clubs now share a strategic partnership which could help facilitate any future transfer activity between the two, while Madrid boss Jose Mourinho is reportedly keen on getting the deal done and is a fan of the former Southampton player.
Madrid have yet to firm up their interest in Bale with a concrete bid and are as yet uncertain of how much they would be wiling to offer.
The reigning La Liga champions are reportedly unwilling to pay over the odds for Bale, and could look to use Modric’s €35 million fee as a benchmark – although the Daily Mail claims today that an offer in the region of €40 million could be forthcoming.