By Duncan Castles
Tottenham plan to use a significant percentage of the world record transfer fee offered by Real Madrid for Gareth Bale to recruit four new players, Goal understands.
Andre Villas-Boas is to ask for a left-back, centre-back, winger and a striker - all in addition to a deal agreed for Spain international Roberto Soldado.
The Premier League club values Bale at €115 million, a price Madrid have told Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy they are prepared to meet during recent discussions over a transfer. With Bale's team of advisers intent on moving the 24-year-old to the Santiago Bernabeu as soon as possible, negotiations are now centred on how the deal transfer will be structured.
Levy's preference has been for a one-off cash payment, a condition which would be extremely difficult for Madrid to finance at present. An alternative is for a proportion of the headline €115m figure to be made up of players.
Fabio Coentrao, who is unhappy at the Bernabeu and has sought a move back to Benfica, and Angel Di Maria, whose place in Madrid's attack is threatened by Bale's planned acquisition, have been floated as potential makeweights.
Both, however, carry high salary packages and valuations at Madrid. Spain Under-21 striker Alvaro Morata is a further option, though Florentino Perez is under political pressure not to move on one of their squad's few homegrown players.
While Villas-Boas went into a critical transfer window expecting to retain Bale following direct conversations with the Wales international and a commitment from Levy that the player would not be sold, the Tottenham manager is understood to have accepted that Madrid's offer to meet the unprecedented €115m asking price is impossible to refuse.
Tottenham have already broken their own transfer record twice this summer, first committing close to £17m to the transfer of Brazil midfielder Paulinho from Corinthians, and then agreeing to pay Valencia €30m (£26m) for Soldado, their prolific centre forward.
Both players were requested by Villas-Boas, who also successfully pushed for the recruitment of Belgium forward Nacer Chadli.
The club also offered €18m for Bernard earlier in the window, but have since dropped their interest in the diminutive Brazil attacker. Atletico Mineiro are now expected to sell the 20-year-old to Villas-Boas' former employers, Porto, though Shakhtar Donetsk have also made a move.