Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale is “edging closer” to a Premier League return, but “it would cost Spurs too much to bring him back”.
Those are the words of Spanish journalist Guillem Balague, who often has the inside track on key events in La Liga.
He has a connection with Tottenham, too – Balague is the author of the Mauricio Pochettino biography that was published last year.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Balague revealed former Spurs star Bale will almost certainly leave Real Madrid this summer, and England is his most likely destination.
Bale has been heavily linked with both Manchester United and Tottenham by the Spanish media in recent months.
But Balague claims a return to Spurs is unlikely and that Bayern Munich is a more feasible option.
“I am convinced Real Madrid want to sell Gareth Bale,” Balague said. “That is not Bale’s preferred choice, he would like to stay.
“Of course Spurs would like to have Bale back but their targets are different. Other teams are better prepared and have a greater desire and financial possibilities.
“You only have to compare their expenditure to the highest in the Premier League to see they don’t have the kind of money it would take to sign Bale.
“A return to the Premier League is of course on the cards but it would be foolish for Bale not to explore all opportunities.”
“The Premier League is the target but a move to Bayern Munich would make sense as well, if that’s the route they decide to take.
“Having said that, even though Bayern may sell Robert Lewandowski, they are not the kind of club that spends hundreds of millions on a player.
“With that in mind, I would say he is more likely to go the Premier League.”
Bale made over 200 appearances for Tottenham, scoring 55 goals before moving to Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 for a then-record fee.
He has won three Champions League titles in the Spanish capital, but injuries have disrupted his form over the last couple of seasons.
Many Spurs fans would welcome his return, but financially it looks like a difficult deal.