Gareth Bale Wales TottenhamGetty/Goal

Tottenham 'close' to sealing Bale move as star seeks to end Real Madrid nightmare

Gareth Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett says that Tottenham are "close" to signing the Real Madrid winger - but insists that the deal is not yet done.

Bale originally left for La Liga in 2013, with the former Spurs star winning four Champions League titles during his time in Spain.

The Welshman has fired 105 goals in 251 matches at Real Madrid, having also won two Liga titles to go with those four European triumphs.

However, the 31-year-old has fallen out of Zinedine Zidane's plans and made only 16 appearances last season in all competitions, while his antics on the Madrid bench saw him make negative headlines in the Spanish capital.

Bale has been heavily linked with a departure this summer, having also been frequently rumoured to be on the move several times in recent seasons.

Manchester United and Tottenham have been said to be interested and Bale's agent has now confirmed that a return to Spurs is his preferred destination.

"Gareth still loves Spurs," Barnett told BBC Sport Wales. "We are talking [Spurs, Real and Bale's camp]. It's where he wants to be."

Barnett added, to AFP: "It's close but not done. It's a complicated deal."

The 31-year-old's representative would later reveal that Bale is closer than ever to leaving Madrid, telling Sky Sports News: "There's a long way to go on some issues, but without a doubt Gareth is closer to leaving Madrid than at any time in the last seven years."

Bale originally broke through with Spurs in 2007-08 having made the move from Southampton the summer prior. He rapidly became a key figure at White Hart Lane before truly emerging as a world-class star in 2012-13 as he scored 26 goals, including 21 in the Premier League.

Bale won both the PFA Players' Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year that season, also adding the FWA Footballer of the Year Award to join future team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and become only the second player to win all three in the same season.

Internationally, Bale has been a mainstay for Wales for nearly a decade-and-a-half, scoring 33 goals in 85 games for his country. He featured in recent Nations League clashes with Finland and Bulgaria, with Wales earning 1-0 wins in each match. 

Tottenham started the 2020-21 Premier League season with a 1-0 loss to Everton as they kicked off their first full season under manager Jose Mourinho. Real Madrid, meanwhile, are fresh off a Liga title and will begin the defence of that crown on Sunday with a visit to Real Sociedad.