Antontio Conte has reportedly asked Daniel Levy to re-sign Gareth Bale on loan in January, although the Tottenham chairman has a different target in mind.
Bale spent last season back at Spurs has barely featured for Real Madrid this term and is understood to be open to another switch back to north London. Indeed, reports from Spain claim that the Wales star could earn a permanent return, if he manages to impress Conte.
OkDiario states that the Italian prefers a move for Bale over fellow Real Madrid star Eden Hazard, who Levy is said to favour.
Conte is looking to make his mark on Tottenham after signing an 18-month deal to replace Nuno Espirito Santo.
He is expected to be handed significant funds to bolster his squad in Janaury and next summer. Indeed, there are some suggestions that he has a transfer kitty of £150million to spend.
Bale scored 16 goals in 34 appearances for Spurs last season, enjoying a welcome return after an injury-hit start.
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The 32-year-old struggled for game time in the first part of last season, as Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min lit up the Premier League with their strike partnership. However, he was eventually given his chance by Jose Mourinho and performed well when called upon.
Bale returned to Real only to find that his No 11 shirt was given to Marco Asensio over the summer. The report in the Daily Star also claims that the winger’s relationship with the club and fans has ‘deteriorated beyond repair’.
Bale an odd move for Conte
While another return to Tottenham makes sense for the player, the link is a strange one for Conte.
The Italian is renowned for wanting to draw every last ounce of sweat out of his players. Indeed, luxury players are not really tolerated.
Spurs already have two of those on their books in Dele Alli and Tanguy Ndombele. To that end, a return for Bale appears fanciful – although the Tottenham faithful would not complain.
As for Levy’s hopes of landing Hazard instead, that also appears wide of the mark.
The Belgian has been plagued by injury problems since switching to the Bernabeu from Chelsea. With that in mind, he would represent a huge gamble at a high price – salary-wise.
Tottenham are next back in action when they host Leeds on Sunday November 21.