Tottenham Hotspur have drifted to odds-against to keep Gareth Bale for the first time this summer after fresh reports this morning suggested he will attempt to force a move to Real Madrid.
The Welshman is apparently dismayed by Daniel Levy’s reluctance to consider a rumoured world-record £86.4m bid from the Spanish giants and his representatives will now apparently seek crunch talks with the Spurs chairman.
Bale held an informal discussion with Levy before last week’s trip to Hong Kong for the Asia Trophy and boss Andre Villas-Boas had said negotiations over a proposed new £150,000-per-week contract were “ongoing”.
However, Villas-Boas’ stance changed noticeably after Spurs’ 1-0 victory over South China on Saturday, when he refused to comment on speculation about Madrid’s eye-watering offer for his star man.
Bale, who scored 26 goals in all competitions last season, believes that bid is still on the table and while it is unclear whether he will lodge an official transfer request, it would appear that the dispute could now turn acrimonious.
Tottenham have been odds-on to keep the former Southampton winger at White Hart Lane all summer, but the latest reports have seen them pushed out from 4/5 to 11/10 to successfully resist Madrid’s overtures.
The Spanish giants were as long as 15/4 to pull off what would be a sensational coup as recently as last week despite launching a concerted charm offensive to turn the head of their number one target.
And with president Florentino Perez reportedly planning to meet Levy in Miami early next month in order to thrash out a deal, Los Blancos have been slashed from 9/10 to 1/2 to bring him to the Bernabeu.
Levy is famously resolute when he wants to keep hold of a player, having delayed the departures of Luka Modric and Dimitar Berbatov in the past, and is believed to have flown home from Florida to tell Bale he will not be sold.
Whether he will be successful on this occasion remains to be seen, but this is one transfer saga which looks set to run right up until the current window slams shut on September 2nd.