By Richard Parks
Gareth Bale is unlikely to make a sensational return to Tottenham this summer even though the possibility is growing he will quit Real Madrid, according to Guillem Balague.
The Sky Sports Spanish pundit and transfer expert dismissed the likelihood of the Real Madrid superstar, 28, having a second spell at White Hart Lane but is increasingly convinced his time at the Bernabeu is coming to an end.
In a question-and-answer session on the Sky Sports website (Friday, 12.43pm), Balague believes even the combination of the exciting Spurs side transformed by Mauricio Pochettino and the spanking new stadium the club are scheduled to move into in August will not be enough to secure the return of Bale to north London.
This comes at a time when he is struggling to make the Real starting XI and has cut a frustrated figure under manager Zinedine Zidane.
“The interesting thing is that nobody knows if Zidane will be there next season, but both sides know that he is on the market and if he is on the market I don’t see many clubs able to pay the money he will cost,” he said.
“I don’t think he will go back to Spurs and he’s not a player for City. Manchester United perhaps will be the clear favourites as Mourinho is a fan, maybe Chelsea, but I don’t know of any interest from them just yet.”
Football Insider verdict:
Mauricio Pochettino is on the record as being a firm admirer of Bale, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest players to represent Tottenham. Would he be a great signing for Spurs? Without doubt. Is it likely to happen? Probably not. Bale’s record at Real makes it clear that he is the real deal. At the Bernabeu, the Welshman has won the Champions League three times and the Spanish title, scoring 76 goals and supplying 57 assists in 173 matches. He would provide the final piece of the jigsaw in Pochettino’s young and vibrant team which has made Europe sit up and take notice with its stunning transformation. The main stumbling blocks are the price – Bale is likely to cost £70million-plus – and persuading the player that a return to White Hart Lane is the best move he can make at this key point in his career.
In other Tottenham news, it can be exclusively revealed that a centre-back has agreed contract terms with Spurs.