Earlier today, our old buddy Gianluca Di Marzio stated that Tottenham Hotspur director of football Franco Baldini is in Spain to complete the transfer of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid. Though Di Marzio's a bit hit or miss, this seemed plausible. Now, a couple of reporters have come out and said that Bale's move to Madrid is all but a done deal.
The first instance of someone using the word 'done' to describe the transfer that we can track down was Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail and NBC, who reported the deal on American TV before Chelsea played Aston Villa. Then, Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl dropped this.
Real Madrid source: Gareth Bale acquisition is happening. Says he doubts Fábio Coentrão will end up being part of it.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) August 21, 2013
On top of this, we've been told by more than one source within NBC Sports that they have been told by the Premier League to pull Bale off all promotional material. Bale was a big part of NBC's promotion of their Premier League coverage earlier in the summer, with the Times Square billboard being the most prominent piece of advertising. That billboard was pulled because the promotion ended, not because Spurs or the league told NBC to remove Bale from promotional material, but NBC has been told that they should take Bale off of any other advertisements.
Between Wahl, Ashton and the information we got from NBC, it seems very likely that Bale will be moving to Madrid shortly. However, it is very curious that AS, MARCA and the other big Spanish outlets have not run with anything on Wednesday. If anyone can offer an explanation for why they're asleep at the switch or refusing to share what they know, I'd love to hear it.
In any event, the next few days should be a blast.