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Gareth Bale is on the verge of making a shock return to Tottenham Hotspur.
Almost seven-years on from his record breaking departure, a route back to London seems like the Welsh wonder’s best escape from limbo at Real Madrid.
Despite his obvious talents, Bale & Real have become a poor fit as they years have gone by, and now he’s set for the exit door, with Spurs waiting to pounce
Bale to Spurs – What we know
It is time for Tottenham Hotspur fans to get excited.
Gareth Bale is coming home. And not only that, but he will be joined by Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Reguilon too.
Talks over a double deal have ramped up in the last couple of days and the transfer negotiations have reached such a stage that Spurs are preparing to announce both deals before the end of this week.
football.london understands that the club hope to announce the transfers on Friday, ahead of this weekend’s Premier League game against Southampton.
Bale has been linked with a return to Tottenham almost every transfer window since leaving N17 to become the then most expensive player in the world in 2013.
Reguilon has also had suitors from other Premier League clubs, namely Chelsea and Manchester United, but it is Spurs who have won the race for his signature.
The 23-year-old will move to north London on a permanent deal, thought to be in the region of £27million, although Real Madrid have insisted on having a buy-back option in the deal.
Reports have suggested that buyback clause is for around £10million more than the initial fee, so £37million and it has been reported that it will remain in place for two years.
Having buyback clauses in deals is not something Daniel Levy or the club like doing, but they were so intent on securing the services of one of Europe’s most promising full-backs that they accepted Real Madrid’s terms.
Bale, on the other hand, is a loan deal and there have been plenty of negotiations between the two clubs and Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett over the terms of that loan.
His salary at the Bernabeu has always been the sticking point when it came to hopes of Bale returning to Tottenham, but the clubs have no come to an agreement whereby Los Blancos subsidise some of his wages during his loan spell.
That split is understood to be 60-40 in favour of Madrid, with Spurs paying around 40% of his wages while on loan.
Tottenham are preparing to unveil both players on Friday, with the duo having completed MRI scans and the majority of their medicals in Spain.
Bale was at Real Madrid’s training ground on Thursday as the deal between the two clubs reaches its conclusion.
That is not likely to be the end of Tottenham’s transfer window business, with Jose Mourinho still focused on adding another striker to his ranks, while a new centre-back also remains a priority.
Dier: Bale move ‘exciting’
Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier says the signing Gareth Bale is “exciting” for supporters, but admits Spurs’ players have not discussed the move.
Speaking ahead of Spurs’ Europa League qualifier against Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Dier was asked about the Bale news from the dressing room’s perspective.
“No, nothing on the WhatsApp group,” Dier told reporters, when asked how Tottenham’s players reacted to the reports. “Obviously there’s a lot of speculation and it’s not for me to speculate on.
“I’m sure from the fans’ point of view it’s very exciting to be linked with a player of that level. It doesn’t affect me personally. It’s not the first time there’s been a player linked with going here or there.”
When does Bale need to be registered by?
The pair of arrivals are set to be announced on Friday, football.london understands, with the aim of getting both Bale & Reguilon through the door in time for Sunday’s game at Southampton.
Spurs travel to the south coast for their second game of the Premier League season.
Mourinho’s side began the campaign with a 1-0 defeat at home to Everton so will be looking to bounce back from that disappointing result.
According to Premier League rules, players must be registered by 12pm on the Friday if they want to participate in the matches over the weekend.
It means Spurs are in a race against time to get both Bale and Reguilon signed on the dotted line by midday on Friday, September 18, if they want them to feature against Saints.
How a new-look Spurs could line up
Spurs will confirm both Bale and his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Reguilon before the end of the transfer window.
Jose Mourinho’s double swoop will bring back Bale, and add Reguilon to the side for the 20/21 season.
Manchester United were also potentially tracking Reguilon, but Spurs leapt ahead of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in the race to sign the Spanish international.
The return of Bale would be a major boost for Spurs ahead of the 2020/21 season getting into full flight, and the arrival of Reguilon could signal a change in approach from Mourinho as part of a full-back partnership with summer signing Matt Doherty.
Spurs could be set for a new look, and at football.london we’ve got you covered. CLICK HERE to see how we think Spurs 2020 will shape-up as the deadline approaches.
A Bale return makes sense!
Barely a transfer window has passed since Gareth Bale left Tottenham in 2013 that the Welshman has not been linked with a return to N17 – but a 2020 return makes a lot of sense, writes Graham Ruthven.
The Welshman was Spurs’ best player in a generation and one of the best to have ever played in the Premier League.
But is there a chance he could return this summer? Football.london understands that Spurs are set to secure a return.
The 31-year-old is a peripheral figure at Real Madrid, with Zinedine Zidane making clear the Welshman has no real future in the Spanish capital.
Until recently, though, it appeared that Bale would simply sit out his lucrative €15 million-a-year contract on the bench. The winger is said to enjoy the lifestyle in Spain and was in no rush to make a move elsewhere. The situation, however, has changed with the news Real Madrid would be willing to pay 50% of Bale’s wages just to get him out the door (as per the Telegraph).
This makes the 31-year-old a much more realistic target for Spurs, who without this subsidy wouldn’t have been able to pay Bale’s £600,000 weekly wage. They might still struggle to pay half that, but at least a loan move, as is most likely, is now within the realms of possibility. A return could be on the cards.
Bale’s return would undeniably come attached with a certain sentimental element. As already referenced, the Welshman was Tottenham’s best player in a generation. It hurt to watch someone of his quality leave so early in his career and so his return would be a public relations victory for Daniel Levy and the club hierarchy.
His signing would also serve a tactical purpose for Jose Mourinho too. While Lucas Moura has been favoured on the right side of the Spurs attack since the arrival of the Portuguese coach last season, it is widely seen as the team’s weakest position. While Tottenham have a number of options on the left side, their depth on the right is lacking.
Moura’s efforts in Amsterdam made him a Tottenham legend, but it’s reasonable to question whether the Brazilian is producing enough on a regular basis. Last season saw him score four times and assist a further four in 35 Premier League appearances. Compare that to some of his peers in the same division (Mohamed Salah, Raheem Sterling, Mason Greenwood) and Moura’s output is lacking.
As a physical force, Bale has faded in recent seasons, with injuries a persistent issue. But if Spurs could get the Welshman fit and firing, he would be a clear upgrade on Moura on the right side of Mourinho’s attack. This is a player who, despite everything, has still managed to score 80 times in 171 appearances in all competitions for Real Madrid.
Bale is a different sort of player now to the one that left Spurs in 2013. Back then he was a mercurial winger capable of scoring stunning long-range strikes. Those long-range strikes still occur from time to time, but the Welshman isn’t as explosive as he used to be. It’s debatable whether he could even be described as a winger anymore, morphing into more of a wide forward over time.
Nonetheless, the addition of Bale to Mourinho’s squad, even on a short term loan basis, would be a good one. The Welshman would provide goal threat from the edge of the box, not to mention set piece potency and a threat in the air. It just so happens to be a bonus that Tottenham would probably sell an unprecedented number of shirts with his name on the back too.