Real Madrid have yet to make an offer for Gareth Bale, according to president Florentino Perez, with Tottenham still refusing to countenance the Welsh attacker’s sale. Signing Bale, who enjoyed a spectacular last season, is a leading ambition for Madrid this summer. But Tottenham have continued to stress that the player would be staying put despite their failure to qualify for the Champions League and the Spanish giants reportedly being prepared to eclipse the record fee paid for Cristiano Ronaldo four years ago. Perez has claimed that they have yet to test Tottenham’s resolve.
“He is a great player who belongs to a club we enjoy good relations with, but we have not made any offer,” he said, according to Sky Sports.
Spanish sports daily AS believes that there could soon be developments in the situation. Bale is due back for pre-season at Tottenham this week and reportedly could tell chairman Daniel Levy that he wants to leave White Hart Lane. While the 23-year-old has suggested that he wants to play in Spain in the future, he has yet to make any comment about desiring to make the move this summer. It is likely to take a formal transfer request for Tottenham to consider allowing him to leave, especially as manager Andre Villas-Boas was given assurances that Bale would be staying.
With Gonzalo Higuain set to depart, Madrid-based Publication Marca believes that Madrid are deciding whether to push for Bale or sign an orthodox striker as a replacement. One of their targets for that position, Edinson Cavani, is now close to a move to Paris Saint-Germain. The French champions are thought to have agreed to pay the Napoli striker’s €63 million release clause.
French publication Le Parisien has reported that a deal could be signed on Tuesday, while PSG coach Laurent Blanc and sporting director Leonardo have sounded confident of sealing the transfer. There has not yet been any word from Cavani, however, and he may try to engineer a move elsewhere -- to Madrid or to one his Premier League admirers Chelsea and Manchester City.
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If Cavani does move to PSG it would raise questions about their current striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The enigmatic Swede scored 30 goals in his first season in Ligue 1 last campaign and Madrid have been linked with a move in recent days. Such talk seems somewhat fanciful given the huge contract he signed that makes him one of the world’s highest-paid players. At 31, few clubs will be willing to match PSG’s terms.
One deal that does look set to go through in the coming days is Real Madrid’s signing of Real Sociedad midfielder Asier Illarramendi. Marca reports that the only detail to be finalized is whether the agreed €30 million fee will be paid in one or two installments. It is said that Madrid are trying to wrap up a deal before Thursday, when Sociedad’s pre-season training begins. Illarramendi excelled at the recent European Under-21 championship and is seen by many as a long-term, or perhaps even immediate, replacement for Xabi Alonso.