A look ahead at Thursday’s papers and what they say about Gareth Bale’s possible move from Tottenham to Real Madrid.
Let’s start with Wednesday’s London Evening Standard, which ran the most reasoned and sensible-sounding story of this round-up.
The tube-rider’s staple claims Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has reluctantly agreed to sell Bale to Real for £100m cash only but is continuing the fight to keep his prized asset. The Welshman, meanwhile, will not hand in a transfer request and will play on in North London if a deal does not go through.
The Daily Mirror‘s Arsenal expert John Cross (ahem) agrees that Bale will not ask for a transfer but says Levy has sounded out Real about a list of possible players who could join in part-exchange, which includes Angel Di Maria, Fabio Coentrao, ex-Spurs midfielder Luka Modric and 20-year-old striker Alvaro Morata.
There is an element of agreement from The Guardian but the broadsheet says Spurs only want Morata, plus €100m (£86m), making any deal worth well over £100m.
Incredibly, given what we’ve just read, The Daily Star scream ‘WORLD EXCLUSIVE’, claiming Morata is the Real player Andre Villas-Boas wants in part exchange but says Spurs will demand £95m plus the Spain under-21 star (presumably that slightly inflated price is the ‘exclusive’ bit).
The Daily Mail, oh shameful employer of Adrian Durham, goes further than any of its esteemed rivals, claiming a deal ‘in principle’ is already in place to take Bale to the Bernabeu, before oddly suggesting Spurs will try to include Morata in the package – proving a deal is not close to being done at all.
Finally, The Daily Telegraph admirably avoid speculation, simply claiming little progress has been made in Real’s desire to prize the £86m-rated forward from Tottenham – but the paper confirms the Welshman has asked to leave White Hart Lane.