Bale agents to stress player’s desire to leave

Star striker wants to join Real Madrid but stand-off looms as Tottenham insist he must stay

Gareth Bale's representatives hope to meet Daniel Levy this week to impress on the Tottenham Hotspur chairman their client's desire to move to Real Madrid this summer, with the standoff between player and club threatening to turn acrimonious.

The Wales international and his team-mates returned from the Asia Trophy in Hong Kong yesterday, with the manager, André Villas-Boas, having granted his squad two days off before they reconvene for Saturday’s friendly in Monaco.

Bale has been suffering from a minor glute muscle complaint, that prevented him featuring in south-east Asia but, while the manager had envisaged the player resuming training this week, the 24-year-old does not anticipate participating at the weekend.

He and his advisers are aware of Madrid's determination to secure him and have been left exasperated by Levy's reluctance to consider an offer that would be worth a world record €100 million.

The chairman, who had held informal talks with Bale during a brief trip to Hong Kong last week, is understood to have flown back to London from Florida, where he owns a property, and intends to reiterate to the player he will not be sold.


Spurs have indicated they are resolute and have previous form in this area, having delayed the departures of Luka Modric and Dimitar Berbatov in the past.

That would suggest an impasse and it remains to be seen whether Bale, who has enjoyed a fine relationship with the Tottenham hierarchy since moving from Southampton in 2007, will be willing to force the issue by submitting a formal transfer request.

Where such a statement had appeared unthinkable only a few weeks ago, now looks a realistic proposition.

Certainly Spurs' aspirations to secure the player on new and improved terms worth up to €175,000 a week appear dashed, though they do have the forward contracted for three more years.

Madrid remain just as confident they will secure their principal transfer target before the window closes at the beginning of September and reports in Spain suggest the president, Florentino Pérez, intends to leave a tournament in the United States to meet Levy in Miami early next month.

Madrid’s bid is understood to be a cash offer but there could yet be scope to include players – Argentina winger Angel Di María and the Portugal fullback Fábio Coentrão have been mooted – in part-exchange for Bale.

It should be noted that such exchange deals are notoriously difficult to complete given the number of interested parties on which they hinge.
Guardian Service