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The door is barely cracked for Gareth Bale to return to Tottenham

But boy howdy, it sure doesn’t seem very likely.

Real Madrid v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

We really should stop doing this to each other.

Gareth Bale is all over the news at the moment after he basically issued a come-and-get-me plea to... well, anyone who can afford him. After scoring a brace off the bench to help Real Madrid win their third consecutive Champions League title, Bale said he needs to be playing “week-in-week-out” and that he’d sit down with agent to hash out what to do next.

Bale is set to meet this week with representatives at Real Madrid to figure out if his future lies at the Bernabeu, but his comments put both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur fans on high alert. But as unlikely as it sounds, Miguel Delaney writes in the Independent that there’s still a chance that Gareth Bale could walk into the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as a member of Tottenham Hotspur.

Huge questions still have yet to be answer about whether Bale could leave Madrid this summer, how much he would cost, and who would be able to afford him. There are probably only a handful of clubs in the world that would be willing to to take him on anything close to his current wages — Barcelona (though unlikely due to him being a Madridista), Manchester United, Manchester City, PSG, and Bayern Munich. Of those, United is the most likely and most logical — this is a club that has more money than God and could pretty easily swing Bale’s high wages and transfer fee. And there have been links between Bale and United almost since before he left for Madrid.

Tottenham only comes into the picture because the club reportedly has a clause in Bale’s contract that allows them to match any bid made by a Premier League club within 72 hours and have it become the preferred bid. And according to Delaney, the idea that Bale might actually WANT to return to north London isn’t as far-fetched as it might sound.

The link between Manchester United and Bale has long existed, with the player now said to see Old Trafford as a preferred destination.

They would also be better placed to match the forward’s current wages, but that is precisely why United are now cool on the player, especially at his age and at this point of his career as well as after signing Alexis Sanchez.

Sources close to Bale say he would also be very open to a return to Spurs, and would be willing to make compromises on financial demands if a deal could be structured.

With manager Mauricio Pochettino having urged the club to make statements in the market this summer, those close to the hierarchy say Tottenham would be willing to offer a deal similar to Harry Kane’s, of around £200,000 a week with bonuses.

Sources say that Spanish tax means Bale only gets £200,000 in hand at Real Madrid, but that other commercial deals related to being at the club take him up to way over £500,000.

That figure seems to contradict previous reports that stated Bale’s salary at £350k after tax, but we don’t really know. Still, if Delaney’s figures are correct it seems strange that United would cool on Bale for financial reasons but those same financial conditions would open a door for Spurs.

There are plenty of reasons why the above statement might make Tottenham fans excited, but that doesn’t make it anywhere near a likely scenario. Bale, whose contract expires in a year, would first need to force his way out of Madrid, agree to significant financial concessions compared to his existing contract, and Tottenham would need to purchase his contract for probably an astronomical sum. Even if Bale were willing to come back to Spurs, it is significantly more likely that he either stays at Madrid (pending Cristiano Ronaldo figuring out his own future), or signs with a club with bigger and better resources, like United, or Bayern.

It’s a tantalizing thing to think about, but all the transfer market “bravery” at Spurs probably still can’t overcome the financial hurdles that would keep Gareth Bale from returning to Tottenham Hotspur. The only way is if Bale himself WANTS to come, and is willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. Better to save ourselves a lot of pain and just give up hope now.