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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Football

Heart on Madrid, Bale returns for Spurs duty
AFP
London, August 01, 2013
First Published: 01:28 IST(1/8/2013)
Last Updated: 02:09 IST(1/8/2013)

Gareth Bale reported for training with Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, amid mounting rumours about a lucrative move to Real Madrid in a possible world record transfer deal.

The 24-year-old Wales winger, voted player of the year and young player of the year last season by his English Premier League peers, was seen arriving at the club’s Enfield training ground, north of London, in a black Mercedes sportscar, television pictures on Sky Sports News showed.

His return to training was being closely watched because of persistent questions about his immediate future.

Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas said during the club’s pre-season visit to Hong Kong last week that they were in talks with the highly rated player, who scored 26 goals last season, about a new contract.

He said he was optimistic of reaching agreement on a deal but fuelled speculation that Bale would leave the club after saying that there was currently no agreement.

Real offer £100 mn?
Since then, the British and Spanish media have gone into overdrive, with Bale reportedly being given a price tag upwards of the record £ 80 million ($122 million, 92 million euros) Real paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.

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The Guardian said Real had indicated they were willing to pay a world record £100 million for Bale while Spanish sports daily Marca has claimed that Spurs have demanded a fee of £125 million for the player.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has also been reported as having set up a meeting with Real president Florentino Perez in Miami next week, where the Spanish club are due to play in a pre-season tournament, to broker a deal. Bale’s family were even said to have met Levy earlier this week to persuade him to allow the player to go, even though he has reportedly not submitted a transfer request.

Tottenham play a friendly against Monaco on Saturday, although it is unclear whether Bale will feature.


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