The January transfer market came and went for Real Madrid with no major moves, but the Bernabeu is reportedly looking ahead to this summer.
For the second time, Tottenham Hotspur Gareth Bale is a rumored target for Madrid, according to a report by The Guardian.
The report said manager Andre Villas-Boas stipulated Tottenham must qualify for the Champions League if they hope to keep the Welsh-born midfielder.
Villas-Boas, a long admirer of fellow countryman Cristiano Ronaldo, spoke highly of Bale as well after Wales's 2-1 friendly victory over Austria Wednesday.
"Both of them are extremely technical players and extremely powerful and pacy," Villas-Boas said. "Obviously it is funny to see how in some ways both players compared growing up as a striker and move to wingers.
"Gareth started at left-back and moved to a winger position, now going to a more advanced role, and Ronaldo also able to play that rule up front.”
Since taking up residence at White Hart Lane in 2007, Bale has netted 32 goals in 134 appearances, and leads the Hotspur in Premier League goals this season with 11.
Back in December, Madrid reportedly valued Bale at £60 million. Before that, The Sun reported Los Blancos would have offered £50 million and defender Fabio Coentrao for Bale’s services.
Those offers are well above Bale’s supposed market value of £37 million. Tottenham has Bale under contract until 2016.
Spurs are currently fourth in the Premier League, one point behind Chelsea for an automatic berth in Champions League. Tottenham’s success to close the season could decide their next move with Bale.
Los Blancos are seemingly out of contention for the La Liga title, sitting 16 points behind Barcelona, but the addition of Bale next season could bolster their chances of knocking off the Catalans.