Tottenham in talks with Real Madrid over Gareth Bale return on loan
Tottenham have opened talks with Real Madrid about a loan return for Gareth Bale. Their interest comes as Manchester United also consider a loan for the Wales international as an alternative to Jadon Sancho.
Spurs want to explore what may be possible but there is a caveat. Bale earns a basic £600,000 a week and sources close to him have said he would be unwilling to take a pay cut. “Gareth still loves Spurs,” his agent Jonathan Barnett told the BBC. “It’s where he wants to be.”
The 31-year-old had six seasons at Spurs before his then world-record £85.2m transfer to Real and the club’s chairman, Daniel Levy, would love to bring him back. Bale said at the beginning of the month that he would be open to a Premier League return. It is unclear, however, whether the Spurs manager, José Mourinho, would want Bale as much as Levy and then there are the numbers, which are extremely daunting.
United are on a different level to Spurs in financial terms and, if needed, they could find a way to accommodate Bale. But Spurs – who Levy expects to lose £200m in 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic – would need a lot of things to fall into place, not least Real paying a high percentage of Bale’s wages. The Spanish champions are agreeable to making a contribution given how Bale’s fortunes have nosedived under Zinedine Zidane. How much remains to be seen.
Bale almost joined the Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning on a £1m-a-week, three-year deal last year only to be upset when Real blocked the transfer. He has said he “wants to play football” and is “still motivated to play football”. But he is settled off the field in Madrid and would not walk away from his life there lightly.
United have chased the Borussia Dortmund winger Sancho throughout the summer only to be frustrated by his club’s £110m valuation. Although United are not ready to give up on Sancho, they could turn to Bale, who has no future at Real while Zidane is the manager. It is conceivable that United’s interest in Bale, who is under contract until June 2022, is a means of putting pressure on Dortmund over Sancho.
United’s bid to sign Sancho has turned into a saga. They have agreed terms with the 20-year-old and made a breakthrough regarding agent fees but their stance remains that Dortmund’s asking price is too high in the Covid-affected market.
There are three weeks to go until the transfer window closes and, although there is the chance of agreeing a deal with Dortmund, United have no desire to be negotiating in the final days of the market. As such, they would be prepared to walk away before then, meaning Bale could become an option.
Tottenham on Tuesday bid €30m (£27.6m) including add-ons for the Real left-back Sergio Reguilón, who is also wanted by United. Spurs are in pole position to sign the Spain international because their offer exceeds what United are willing to pay and they are ready to accept Real’s demands for a buy-back clause and the right to match any bid Tottenham accept for Reguilón.
The 23-year-old Reguilón had his heart set on United but is ready to discuss personal terms with Spurs over a contract to 2025 with a view to joining.