Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will reportedly enter showdown talks with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez over the sale of Gareth Bale on Wednesday, according to Jeremy Wilson and Pete Jenson of the Daily Telegraph.
Bale’s expected world-record transfer to the Spanish giants appeared to move a step closer this week when Tom Conn of Inside Spanish Football highlighted Spurs had removed his image from their official Twitter account, along with the recently departed Clint Dempsey.
Now Levy will meet with Perez in Miami to thrash out the financial details of the transfer, with young striker Alvaro Morata believed to be a key factor in any potential agreement.
Wilson and Jenson claim two central demands are driving Levy’s negotiations. He is reported to want all the cash—believed to be in the region of more than £80 million—up front for Bale’s signature, and wants Morata to switch to White Hart Lane as part of the deal.
Morata is one of the brightest young talents in Spanish football, recently finishing as top scorer in Spain’s European Under-21 Championship triumph. His style of play has been likened to that of former Madrid goal machine Fernando Morientes, as alluded to by Simon Cass of the Mail Online.
His addition to the Spurs squad would potentially change the favoured 4-3-3 style of Andre Villas-Boas, who would need to find room for both Morata and record-signing Roberto Soldado in the same starting XI.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are loathe to let Morata leave, but the final call could come down to which player they want more as they attempt to reclaim the Spanish title from Barcelona.
The man at the centre of the transfer saga, Bale himself, will be keen for Levy and Perez to find a middle ground when they meet in Miami after David Woods of the Daily Star reported that the Wales international received a death threat.
The chilling message came in a telephone call to the Spurs training ground in Enfield, Middlesex, on Sunday around tea-time.
Sources close to Bale have confirmed the threat was brief, and has been taken seriously. The Wales star was not at the training ground when the call was made but it is understood security has been stepped up in the light of it.
The latest development is yet another indicator that the Bale saga is on the verge of turning ugly, after widespread reports (including this one from Sky Sports) that he was angry with Villas-Boas’ recent claim that the player would not be leaving.
Bale had reportedly bid farewell to his Spurs teammates over the weekend—via Bloomberg originally from The Sun—with several newspapers even claiming he had signed shirts for his peers.
However, he was back at Tottenham’s Spurs Lodge training facility on Monday and the explosive winger will be forced to train with the squad or risk a club fine.
The speed with which Madrid, in tandem with Levy, can bring negotiations to a conclusion will dictate how sour Bale’s departure becomes, but Spurs’ next preseason friendly is on Saturday at home to Espanyol and, as it stands, he will be expected to play.