Real Madrid are thought to be compiling a transfer offer of around £55m (€70m) to capture Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale.
According to Spanish paper Marca, the La Liga giants intend to settle the bumper package over the next two transfer windows, which could mean Bale staying in the Premier League until the summer.
This term Madrid are struggling to live up to their success of last season, when Jose Mourinho’s side won the league for the first time in four years.
Los Merengues are currently third in La Liga, five points behind local rivals Atletico Madrid and 11 off perennial rivals Barcelona, and want to pair Bale with Cristiano Ronaldo in a bid to return to the summit.
Recently Bale has been showing the kind of form that made him such a coveted figure amongst the European heavyweights nearly two years ago.
The Welshman has six goals in the Premier League this campaign and has struck 10 times in 24 appearances for club and country this season.
With two goals in his last three games, he helped Tottenham go on a four-match unbeaten run and was sorely missed during the defeat to Everton last time out.
£55m is a monumental price to pay for a player that has yet to win a major trophy, but there is no doubting the 23-year-old’s talent and Real and prepared to go all out to sign the wide-man.
At the beginning of December, Bale admitted he would be keen on a move abroad in the future, with Real and also Barcelona repeatedly suggested as possible destinations if he does leave White Hart Lane.
“It would be nice to experience other leagues and other cultures,” said Bale.
“I’ve always said I’m not afraid to go abroad. If the time comes and a team that’s right come in for me, then I’ll look at it seriously.
“I’ll see what happens. Everybody wants to be playing in the Champions League.”
Those quotes will be enough to send shivers down the spines of Spurs fans, who have become accustomed to his match-winning abilities since his move from left-back to left-wing in 2010.
However, ahead of Tottenham’s game against Swansea this weekend, Swans manager Michael Laudrup had words of caution for the former Southampton prodigy about making a switch to Spain.
“It’s difficult to say whether he (Bale) could move to Barcelona or Madrid because it is completely different football,” warned Laudrup.
“You play for those clubs and you don’t play on a pitch that is 100 yards – you play in the last 25 yards.”
“Even in away games, the big two teams play with ten people in front of them. It would be a different way of football, but I do think if you have the quality you can adapt.”
Laudrup knows what it takes to play for the top two in Spain, having spent 1989 to 1994 at Barcelona before transferring to Real Madrid for two seasons.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.