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Welsh winger in advanced talks on five-year deal

EXCLUSIVE
By Greg Stobart & Wayne Veysey

Tottenham are close to agreeing a new contract with Gareth Bale that will more than double his salary and make him the best paid player in the club’s history, Goal.com UK can reveal.

Spurs are in advanced talks with Bale’s representatives about an improved deal that will keep him away from the clutches of a queue of suitors led by Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Inter Milan.

Chairman Daniel Levy is prepared to shatter the club’s strict wage policy to keep Bale and has put together a basic £100,000-a-week package that will rise during the length of the contract depending on the team and player hitting targets.

It is believed that the terms have been agreed for a five-year deal but negotiations are continuing on the structure of bonuses and image rights payments.

Spurs rewarded Bale with a four-year £40,000-a-week deal last May but Goal.com UK understands that the midfielder’s camp rejected the opportunity at the time to sign a six-year agreement.

The continued upward curve of his development and the interest from Europe’s elite clubs has convinced the Spurs hierarchy that they will need greater protection for the left-sided flyer when they come calling again in the summer.

“The next contract that Bale will sign will be on Tottenham headed paper,” a source told Goal.com UK. “He is in talks and it is certain that he will sign soon. He wants to stay and there is no way Tottenham will let him go.”

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Bale’s deal will comfortably take him beyond the club’s current top earners Luka Modric, Robbie Keane and Steven Pienaar, who all earn between £60,000 and £65,000 a week.

It will be nearly on the same scale as the £120,000-a-week package that Spurs were prepared to offer David Beckham for a two-month loan from LA Galaxy.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has spoken of the importance of holding on to Bale while club sources insist that it would take £50 million to tempt them to sell a player whose value has rocketed since he nailed down a regular starting place at the turn of last year.

Manchester United had a £20m bid rejected last summer while Real Madrid and Manchester City have also made their interest clear and are expected to prepare huge offers at the end of the season.

Roberto Mancini said in an interview earlier this month that Bale could be the "strongest target" for a number of top clubs if Spurs chose to cash in on their prize asset at the end of the season. "Perhaps he [Bale] is the only player who is not a striker that can make a difference," said the City boss. "Without him, Tottenham loses 50 per cent of their potential."

As revealed by Goal.com UK last November, Spurs will bank the entire transfer fee if he leaves after removing the 25 per cent sell-on clause that was part of the original agreement with Southampton in 2007.

Tottenham paid the south coast club an early settlement payment of £3m in 2008 to reduce the final fee to £8m and allow Southampton the immediate cash that they desperately needed.

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