Tottenham Hotspur is in talks to sign forward Gareth Bale from Real Madrid as they close in on a deal for his team-mate Sergio Regulion.

In 2013, Bale left Tottenham to join Real Madrid for a then-world record of £85m. He has since scored more than 100 goals and won four Champions League titles.

Bale was hugely successful in his first few seasons at Real. The 31-year-old scored in the 2014 and 2018 Champions League finals as well as the 2014 Copa del Rey final.

But in the past couple of years, his star has faded after a run of injuries, indifferent form, and a fractious relationship with Zinedine Zidane.

According to his agent Jonathan Barnett, “Gareth still loves Spurs. It’s where he wants to be”.

Both Bale and left-back Regulion had been linked with Manchester United. United had talks about him (Regulion) but was put off by the Spanish giants’ insistence on a buyback clause.

This has allowed Tottenham to step in. Obviously, the expectation is he will now join Jose Mourinho’s side.

Where Bale is concerned, a loan looks likeliest at the moment though a permanent transfer has been ruled out. As it stands, Real Madrid is keen to recover costs as they look to offload their highest earner.

Perhaps, Bale’s salary is the biggest hurdle for Spurs to overcome. He still has two years left on a contract which is thought to be worth about £600,000 in a week.

United has long been linked with the Welshman who recently was seen as a potential target should they fail to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.

However, Tottenham has an emotional pull for a player they signed as a 17-year-old from Southampton and helped develop into one of the world’s best.