Another transfer window, another Gareth Bale rumour. This time, one report in Spain is claiming that Tottenham have launched a £30m bid bring the maligned Real Madrid winger back to north London.
Bale has become very much a peripheral figure at the Santiago Bernabéu since the return of Zinedine Zidane in back in March, often consigned to a role on the bench or being left out of the squad entirely.
Bale has only made 12 La Liga outings this season, thanks to injuries and supposedly not being the most popular figure in Zidane's eyes. During the summer the plug was pulled on a move to China at the 11th hour, when Madrid decided they wanted a fee for the Welshman instead of letting him leave for free as initially planned, which seemed the only possible route out of the club.
However, according to Spain's barmy outlet El Chiringuito TV, Spurs are looking to hand Bale a Madrid exit this window, supposedly submitting a £30m bid for the 30-year-old to bring him back to London. As revealed by 90min back in November, Daniel Levy had given Mourinho assurances that the club will pursue a reunion with their former player if the Portuguese head coach wishes to do so.
According to the Spanish television programme, Mourinho has made his mind up, and a £30m bid has been tabled. Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett suggested that a loan would not interest his client whatsoever, therefore a permanent move away is the only conceivable outcome.
"He is one of the best players on earth. Why would he go anywhere on loan," he said, via Simon Stone. "That is ridiculous. There are not many clubs who can afford him anyway. He has two-and-a-half years left on his Real Madrid contract. He is fine. He is happy."
While it has been speculated on numerous occasions over the last few transfer windows that Bale is in no rush to leave the club where he earns nearly £350k-per-week, regular first-team football is in his sights as Wales prepare for this summer's European Championships.
All that said though, given the Spanish media have never taken to Bale and he is repeatedly vilified, any opportunity to link him with a move away is quickly snapped up. Meanwhile, logistically, this is a move that Tottenham simply can't afford at present. Bale's wages are astronomical, the signing fee needs to be factored in and he will have no resale value once he passes his best.
90min reported how a loan move in January was the most feasible and what Levy assured Mourinho, but the recent comments from Bale's agent have put a dampener on the Tottenham chairman's promise.
At present, Spurs are in desperate need of a centre-forward (something Bale is not), and their focus is primarily on solving that issue. Harry Kane is out until April with a hamstring injury, and signing Bale would be trying to put a square peg in a round hole.
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