In Brief

Spurs will challenge Man Utd to sign Gareth Bale from Real Madrid

Wales forward looks likely to return to the Premier League

The future of Gareth Bale has captured the attention of both The Sun and the Daily Express. While both predict the Welshman’s return to England next year, the pair differ on his likely destination.

The Sun says that Manchester United are lining up an “incredible £136million” bid for Bale and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann, with Jose Mourinho believing the duo are within his grasp.

Bale’s asking price has dropped because of his shocking injury record of late. Apparently Mourinho isn’t put off by the fact that the Welsh superstar has sat out 40% of Real Madrid’s games with various injuries since joining them in September 2013.

His latest knock - his 19th in four years - has sidelined him until the new year, and convinced the Spanish giants to cut their losses and offload the wager-fragile Welshman.

Griezmann’s asking price has also fallen in recent months as he struggles to recapture his previous form. The Sun says that United are confident they can get the Frenchman for £86m which, alongside the £50m Real want for Bale, comes to a modest £136m.

However, there is a proverbial fly in the United ointment, reports the Express, or more specifically a Levy in the ointment. The paper says that Tottenham are ready to sabotage United’s attempt to land Bale.

When Spurs sold Bale to Real for £85m four years ago, chairman Daniel Levy had a clause inserted into the deal which gives Tottenham “the chance to match any offers Real receive from the Premier League”.

It’s believed that the clause is valid until June 2019, which means Tottenham have first refusal on bringing Bale back to the Premier League. It’s claimed Levy is weighing up whether to make a move for their prodigal son.

The Express says that Real would like to do business “when the transfer window opens again in January” so that effectively rules out any bid from United who don’t have the financial means to make a move for Bale until next summer at the earliest.

It seems Bale isn’t the only player who will be fought over by Tottenham and United because Metro reports that Danny Rose is at the centre of a tug-of-war between the two clubs. 

Left out of the Spurs squad for Saturday’s 2-0 north London derby defeat against Arsenal, Rose is apparently frustrated with life under Mauricio Pochettino. Metro says this could encourage Mourinho to make a move in the new year.

The United boss has been linked with the 27-year-old defender before and views him as a “potential replacement for Luke Shaw”.

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