Bale ‘close’ to Tottenham return but deal is ‘complicated’, says agent

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale during the warm up before the match with Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, Getafe, Spain, January 25, 2020. The Wales international has been frozen out by Real manager Zinedine Zidane and he said earlier this month he was open to returning to the Premier League. — Reuters pic
Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale during the warm up before the match with Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, Getafe, Spain, January 25, 2020. The Wales international has been frozen out by Real manager Zinedine Zidane and he said earlier this month he was open to returning to the Premier League. — Reuters pic

LONDON, Sept 16 — Gareth Bale is “close” to sealing a sensational move back to Tottenham but the deal is “complicated”, Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett said today.

The Wales international has been frozen out by Real manager Zinedine Zidane and he said earlier this month he was open to returning to the Premier League.

Manchester United have also expressed an interest in Bale but they see him as a back-up option should they fail to agree a fee with Borussia Dortmund for England international Jadon Sancho.

That has left Spurs in pole position to sign the player who left the club for a then world-record fee of £85 million (RM453 million) in 2013.

When asked about Tottenham’s move for Bale, Barnett told AFP: “It’s close but not done.” He added: “It’s a complicated deal.”

Bale has two years left on a contract that pays him around €30 million a year at Real Madrid.

Madrid are pushing for a permanent transfer that could see Tottenham pay next to nothing up front for the 31-year-old, with various performance-related bonuses added on.

Spurs would prefer a loan move that involves Madrid covering a portion of the 31-year-old’s wages.

“No problems, the clubs are negotiating,” added Barnett.

Bale joined Madrid the summer that Jose Mourinho left the Spanish giants, but the Tottenham manager said he had tried to sign him during his spell as Real boss.

“I tried to sign him during my time at Real Madrid and the president followed my instinct and knowledge and the season I left, he brought Gareth to the club,” Mourinho said in a press conference today. “That’s no secret and Gareth knows that.”

Turbulent relationship

Bale has won the Champions League four times and won two La Liga titles during his time in Spain, but his turbulent relationship with Zidane has seen his role significantly reduced in recent years.

He started just one match when the 2019/20 season resumed after the coronavirus hiatus and caused a stir with his behaviour while he watched on in the stands.

Bale almost joined Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning last year before Madrid pulled the plug on the deal and he has accused the club of making it “very difficult” to leave.

The winger still has an emotional attachment to Tottenham after joining the club from Southampton as a teenager, when he developed into one of the world’s most exciting forwards.

Former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, who managed Bale for four years at Tottenham, said he would bring “that little bit of magic” to Mourinho’s side, who lost their first game of the Premier League season to Everton.

“It would be a fantastic signing for the club,” Redknapp told BBC Radio Wales. “It would be great for Gareth to get back playing again. He’s such a talent, such a great player. It’s a waste to see him not playing.”

Bale’s return to playing regularly in the Premier League would also be a boost for Wales manager Ryan Giggs with Euro 2020 to come at the end of the season.

Tottenham are also close to completing the signing of Real Madrid left-back Sergio Reguilon for around €30 million.

Reguilon enjoyed an excellent season for Madrid in 2018/19 but Zidane sent the 23-year-old on loan last year to Sevilla, where he helped them finish fourth in La Liga and win the Europa League.

Madrid want a buy-back clause inserted into the deal, which would allow them to re-sign Reguilon from Spurs in the next two years. — AFP

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