Tottenham Hotspur are in talks with Real Madrid to re-sign forward Gareth Bale, his agent told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Earlier on Tuesday it had been reported a loan swap deal involving England international Dele Alli had been proposed, and those reports were given added weight when the player’s agent confirmed that talks were ongoing with the club.
"That’s where [Tottenham] he wants to go,” Barnett told the AP. Bale left Tottenham in 2013 for a fee in the region of €100 million, but, despite winning four Champions League titles, his time in the Spanish capital has soured.
Madrid are keen to get the 31-year-old’s salary off their books, but the Santiago Bernabeu club may have to subsidise those wages – said to be in the region of £600,000 per week – to push a move through.
Spurs have long been linked with a move for their former player - currently out of favour at Real Madrid - with Manchester United also thought to be in the race.
But it seems now that Jose Mourinho has edged ahead with a possible loan deal.
The Telegraph see a loan-swap deal involving Dele Alli as a way of negating a transfer fee. This is how Matt Law and Sam Wallace see that as playing out:
- Bale returns to Spurs on loan with the London club paying 50% of his wages (£300,000)
- Dele Alli moves in the other direction to the Santiago Bernabeu with Real paying 100% of his wages (£150,000)
- The convoluted maths mean that while Tottenham would pay Bale £300,000, their accounts would only reflect an increase in outgoings of £150,000 due to the Alli saving
The Welshman has a contract until 2022 and was set to make a lucrative move to the Chinese Super League last year before the transfer was scuttled when Real made a last-minute decision to insist on a transfer fee rather than terminate his contract.
Bale has divided opinion among the Real Madrid's fanbase, with some supporters frustrated by a perceived lack of commitment from the Welshman, and he did not feature in their final seven league matches as they pipped Barcelona to the Liga title while he watched on from the bench.
In a frenetic day of transfer rumours swirling around the north London club, Tottenham Hotspur also emerged as favourites to sign Real Madrid full-back Sergio Reguilon - according to a report by the usually-reliable David Ornstein of the Athletic.
With additional reporting from Reuters