Tottenham in talks with Real Madrid over Gareth Bale return on loan

  • Any move hinges on agreement over his £600,000-a-week pay
  • Spurs ahead of United in race to sign Real’s Sergio Reguilón

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.

The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email.

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.


David Hytner, Sid Lowe in Madrid, Jamie Jackson and Fabrizio Romano

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Gareth Bale flying with Sergio Reguilón to seal Spurs loan after passing medical
Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilón have been booked to fly on the same private jet from Madrid to London on Friday

David Hytner and Sid Lowe

17, Sep, 2020 @1:18 PM

Article image
Tottenham close to re-signing Gareth Bale on loan from Real Madrid
Tottenham are confident they will secure a deal to bring back Gareth Bale from Real Madrid, and the hope is that it will be completed before the end of the week

David Hytner

16, Sep, 2020 @7:07 PM

Article image
Gareth Bale determined to stay with Real Madrid in the long term
Gareth Bale has no desire to leave Real Madrid and is confident the Spanish club view him as an integral part of their long-term future

Jamie Jackson

06, May, 2015 @10:47 AM

Article image
André Villas-Boas denies Gareth Bale is on verge of transfer to Madrid

André Villas-Boas has denied that Gareth Bale is on the verge of joining Real Madrid

Jacob Steinberg

04, Aug, 2013 @6:28 PM

Article image
Gareth Bale flies back to UK to prepare for transfer to Real Madrid
Gareth Bale was due to fly back to the UK on Monday as he awaits completion of his move to Real Madrid

Sid Lowe in Madrid

26, Aug, 2013 @11:14 AM

Article image
Gareth Bale staying put at Real Madrid despite Manchester United speculation
Gareth Bale has said he is ‘happy’ at Real Madrid ‘winning trophies’, dismissing transfer speculation linking him with Manchester United

Sid Lowe and Ed Aarons

04, Jun, 2017 @9:30 PM

Article image
Gareth Bale cameo wins back some hearts as Real Madrid come out on top
Gareth Bale was loudly whistled as he came off the bench for Real Madrid before helping secure a 3-1 comeback win against Real Sociedad and a share of top spot in La Liga

Sid Lowe at the Bernabéu

23, Nov, 2019 @11:24 PM

Article image
Gareth Bale set to be first €100m player after Spurs-Real Madrid switch
World record transfer likely to be confirmed this week as TV fuels European football's spending spree

Dominic Fifield

26, Aug, 2013 @8:40 PM

Article image
European roundup: Real Madrid held by Getafe, Icardi saves PSG with winner
Atlético Madrid increased their lead at the top of La Liga while PSG climbed to within a point of the Ligue 1 leaders, Lille, after a five-goal thriller

Guardian sport and agencies

18, Apr, 2021 @9:43 PM

Article image
Gareth Bale could be a Real Madrid cult hero so why has it gone so wrong? | Jonathan Wilson
Gareth Bale is not exactly a victim but this sorry story of the modern superplayer is fundamentally of Real’s own making

Jonathan Wilson

26, Jul, 2019 @8:47 AM