By Richard Parks

Tottenham are in pole position to sign Gareth Bale this summer to a hidden clause in the deal that took him to Real Madrid, according to a report.

The Times claim Spurs have first refusal if the Wales international, 28, was to return to England before the end of the summer of 2019.

It is said that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is primed to swoop and has the chance to match any bid for Bale within 72 hours of it being tabled to win the race for his signature.

The attacker’s future is in doubt at the Spanish giants after losing his starting place for the marquee fixtures in recent months.

Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo previously reported that Spurs were lining up a move in the forthcoming window to re-sign Bale, while Manchester United are also expected to be in the hunt for his signature.

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Bale has a contract that runs at Real until the summer of 2022.

Football Insider verdict:

It has previously been reported that Spurs have first refusal on Bale, but the Times report sheds some new light in terms of the timing of the clause in which they can sensationally re-sign the player they sold five years ago. The cost of the deal for a club with a new stadium to finance will certainly be astronomic, especially as the Londoners operate in a different bracket in the market to the real big spenders. Nevertheless, it would be no surprise were the Welshman to head back to the Premier League after losing his place for the big games at Real, where injuries have taken a major toll. His talent is not in doubt, and his numbers still remain impressive, with even this season yielding a return of 14 goals and eight assists from 33 matches. Bale would be a brilliant signing for an ambitious English club.

In other Tottenham news, the club have blown Manchester United out of the water to seal the signing of 2018, with many claiming the deal is now done.

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