The long-running Gareth Bale transfer saga took a fresh twist yesterday after it emerged that Tottenham Hotspur are considering a bid from another club for the Real Madrid target.
The 24-year-old has been expected to join Madrid for much of the summer but the north London club are now believed to have received an offer from at least one other club for the player.
Spurs are also thought to be dismayed with Real’s conduct during the whole affair, including the club’s decision to erect a stage inside the Bernabeu for Bale’s unveiling, and the fact that they started selling replica shirts with the Welshman’s name on the back.
There is also a feeling among the Spurs hierarchy that Real do not have the money to pay for Bale outright and they are also unimpressed with the Spanish club’s current offer, which involves spreading what is expected to be a world-record fee over six years.
Bale missed Tottenham’s 1-0 win over Swansea on Sunday as he had been given time off, with suggestions that a trip to Spain over the weekend would have included finalising details over a deal that was likely to break the world record transfer fee.
Tottenham themselves have invested heavily in players throughout the summer, breaking their own transfer record on two separate occasions, with Paulinho, Roberto Soldado, Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue moving to White Hart Lane.
But despite such an outlay on new talent, the club maintain that they have not manoeuvred themselves into a position wheteby they need to sell Bale to recoup the money which they have spent.
With potential fees for Bale reportedly varying from £80million to £100m, there would be few clubs other than Madrid who have the spending power to pull of a move for the winger, who was named both PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year last season.
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas maintains there is a possibility Bale could even stay at White Hart Lane, where he scored 26 goals in all competitions last year as Tottenham only just missed out on a Champions League berth.
“There is interest from Real Madrid,” Villas-Boas said.
“Whether the transfer will happen or not, hopefully you will have more news in the next couple of days, but at the moment there is nothing I can tell you.”
With just a week of the transfer window remaining, any last-minute bidders will need to move quickly to entice Bale away from his seemingly preferred move to Madrid, whose own actions could potentially scupper what appeared to be a done deal.