Premier League

Real Madrid, Bale talks heat up

Franco Baldini is thought to be negotiating Gareth Bale's move to Real Madrid.
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Tottenham technical director Franco Baldini was reportedly in Madrid on Wednesday for talks over the sale of Gareth Bale.

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Baldini flew to the Spanish capital to discuss a potential deal with Real Madrid officials. Real have made no secret of their desire to sign Bale this summer, and they hope to finalise a reported £93million deal for the 24-year-old in the coming days.

Bale has been pining for a move to Real ever since the Spanish giants made it clear they wanted to make him their marquee signing of the summer. Initially Tottenham played hardball with the Spaniards. A meeting between Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and his opposite number Florentino Perez in Miami ended without agreement and for a while it seemed a realistic possibility that Bale could stay.

But while negotiations stalled, Levy embarked on a spending spree that saw Spurs sign four new players worth £60million. He has also sanctioned moves for two new players - Anzhi Makhachkala forward Willian and Roma midfielder Erik Lamela.

Willian has undergone a medical and is expected to seal his £30million move in the next 24 hours while Tottenham are willing to spend roughly the same amount on Lamela, whose representatives are in London for talks.

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Although Tottenham have cash reserves to fall back on, selling Bale would go some way towards balancing the books, and the north London club are also aware the triple player of the year has his heart very much set on a move to the Santiago Bernabeu. Andre Villas-Boas denied a deal had been struck for the sale of Bale on Wednesday, but he conceded the player could leave.

"Ideally we want to keep everyone to make us stronger - that is the ultimate objective of the club," the Tottenham manager told a press conference prior to Thursday's Europa League playoff against Dinamo Tbilisi.

"In the end, anything can happen. We are dragging ourselves into the last weeks of transfer activity and it can become very, very frantic. The objective always is to be stronger than the year before and I think we are on the right way to achieve it."

Bale, who has not played for Tottenham for over a month through injury, has been left out of Spurs' squad for the game against Dinamo in the Georgian capital.

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