Chelsea fight Man Utd and join the race to sign Gareth Bale
Real Madrid set to offload Welsh winger for £90m as they raise funds to sign Kylian Mbappe
If Gareth Bales does leave the Bernabeu this month it seems certain it will be to return to the Premier League. But to which club?
Manchester United have long been linked with a move for the 28-year-old former Tottenham ace but according to the Sunday Express Chelsea are now "serious contenders" for the Welsh winger.
Blues boss Antonio Conte is "looking to make four more signings" between now and the close of the summer transfer window and top of his list is Bale with money said to be no object as far as the Welshman is concerned.
Bale's fate is inextricably linked to that of Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappe. He's edging closer to leaving the French champions for the European kings, but it will cost Real and arm and a leg to land Mbappe. In order to free up funds, says the Express, Real will offload one or two of their bigger names, and Bale is set to be jettisoned.
Apparently Real president Florentino Perez is willing to do business for Bale "for around £90m". Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has recently signed striker Alvaro Morata from the Spanish giants and it's believed he's ready to get back around the negotiating table in order to thrash out a deal for Bale.
Meanwhile the Daily Mirror reports that Sunday's defeat to Arsenal in the Community Shield has prompted Conte to "fire yet another SOS to the Chelsea board for new signings".
And his priority is a robust defender to to iron out the flaws in the Blues back four with Virgil van Dijk his preferred option. The Mirror says that Conte is "set to make a £60m move" for the Southampton blocker even though the Saints have declared the Dutchman isn't for sale.
Van Dijk wants to move, and has been ordered to train on his own by Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino because of his stance, but it remains to be seen whether the south coast club will decide to take the money on offer or stand firm.