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Tottenham Hotspur negotiating Gareth Bale transfer. Can it really happen?

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A deadline day move away from Real Madrid feels unlikely given the circumstances.

Unionistas CF v Real Madrid - Copa del Rey: Round of 32 Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Out of nowhere, a wild Gareth Bale rumor appears! Daniel Levy didn’t want you to have a dull deadline day and decided to spice things up a big by making a trip to Madrid to see if there’s a way to bring the former Spurs star home. The Times is reporting that Levy is negotiating with Real Madrid chairman Florentino Perez to sign Bale.

Unsurprisingly, there are some conflicting reports out there. Julien Laurens of ESPN says it’s not happening.

Transfer rumors linking Bale to a move away from the Bernabeu pop up every window, but never come to fruition, thanks to his outrageous contract. He makes a reported £500,000 per week, which given his inability to stay fit, is arguably the worst contract in all of European football. Madrid can’t possibly hope to move him on without paying a majority of his wages for him to not play for their team.

Bale’s had some spectacular moments in a Real Madrid shirt, but has never particularly got on with Zinedine Zidane. Despite that, Perez has always rated Bale, refused to sell him, and handed Bale the ridiculous contract that he now regrets.

Between his fitness concerns and Zidane’s preferences, Bale has not played 2000 La Liga minutes in each of the last four seasons, and is on pace to miss that mark again this year. He’s scored just two La Liga goals, and is clearly surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu if Perez can find him an appropriate home.

It’s really tough to see that home being Tottenham Hotspur, though, unless Madrid is extremely desperate to get Bale out of its locker room. Bale’s wage is more than double what Tottenham pays its highest earner, Harry Kane. This deal is only possible if Perez signs off on eating tens of millions in salary. And there are clearly more than formalities to negotiate, because Bale turned up for Madrid training this morning.

But hey, let’s pretend for a moment. Say Tottenham did sign Bale. Is he still good enough to make a big contribution? Reader... yes he is.

Though Bale has only scored two league goals this year, StatsBomb has him in the 90th percentile of expected goals per 90 for attacking midfielders and wingers. He’s also performed very consistently when suiting up for Wales over the past couple of years, even when he was in poor club form.

But between how little time there is left in the window and how hard it is to construct a deal that makes financial sense for both clubs, this feels nearly impossible. Expect this rumor to resurface during the summer transfer window, but don’t expect to see Bale return to London on Friday night.