While there remains plenty of uncertainty, there are signs that Gareth Bale’s move to Real Madrid for a world record fee could finally be close. Sky Italia set pulses a flutter on Tuesday with their claim that a £93 million (€109m) fee has been agreed with Tottenham. Although there has yet to be any kind of confirmation, the source is certainly credible, with Sky Italia having broken several big stories in recent months, including Pep Guardiola’s appointment at Bayern Munich.
There are further, indirect, suggestions too that a deal may be forthcoming. Tottenham are reported to be close to securing the £30 million (€35m) capture of Anzhi Makhachkala attacking midfielder Willian, while Roma’s management is also thought to be in London negotiating another big-money deal to take forward Erik Lamela to White Hart Lane. The interest in securing the duo, both in terms of finances and personnel, suggests that Spurs are now preparing in earnest for Bale’s departure.
There is a more cautionary note uttered by a publication with close links to Real Madrid, Marca. The sports daily states that Bale’s camp responded with “no news,” uttered with a sense of resignation, when asked for the latest details on the transfer. It is claimed that Bale is intent on not playing for Tottenham again, which Madrid hope will force chairman Daniel Levy into succumbing to their advances. However, Levy is known as one of the toughest and most stubborn negotiators around.
If Bale’s transfer does happen, it remains to be seen whether Fabio Coentrao will comprise part of the deal. The London Evening Standard reports that the Portugal international is Spurs coach Andre Villas-Boas’ top target to strengthen his side at left-back. Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti confirmed last week that Coentrao, signed for over €26 million two years ago had “asked to leave” the Bernabeu.
With that in mind, it is believed that Madrid are close to securing Granada left-back Guilherme Siqueira. Spanish publication AS reports that the transfer could well be finalized between executives of the two clubs when Madrid travel to take on Granada in La Liga next Monday. The Brazilian was not involved in his club’s opening match of the season. It is thought that Madrid’s Russia international Denis Cheryshev could move on loan to Granada as part of the deal.
Recent days have unsurprisingly seen fresh speculation over the future of Iker Casillas after the Madrid stalwart was left out of Ancelotti’s first lineup to take on Real Betis on Sunday. Casillas had, of course, being exiled from the side last season under former boss Jose Mourinho but it was widely expected that he would be restored to his prominent role under the new manager. However, Ancelotti opted to select Diego Lopez, who arrived from Sevilla in January.
There has been much talk that Casillas will seek a move in January if the situation does not change, with the Daily Mail in Britain even suggesting that Arsenal will try to pry him away immediately. Ancelotti, though, revealed after the 2-1 victory over Betis that no long-term decision had been taken.
“I made that decision today,” he said. “I think that, as I said yesterday, they are decisions based on minor details, but that’s the decision I made. Diego Lopez was the goalkeeper for this match and we’ll see for the next game. I spoke with Iker, who is very professional. He wants to play and that’s good. Diego played and he was the goalkeeper today.”