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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Barcelona plan €50m bid for Tottenham's Gareth Bale

EXCLUSIVE: However, Catalans will firstly monitor Tottenham winger's displays next season, before attempting to smash the British transfer record in the summer of 2012

Barcelona are laying the groundwork for a sensational €50 million swoop for Gareth Bale – but are prepared to wait another 12 months to land their man.

The Tottenham midfielder has been identified as principal target by the European champions, who are prepared to shatter the transfer record for a British player.

Barcelona have already made the first steps to capture Bale by enquiring about his interest in a move to the continent and are confident they can fight off interest from Inter and Real Madrid in a player whose reputation across Europe was established following his explosive performances in last season’s Champions League.

Spurs had prepared themselves for sustained interest in Bale, who turns 22 next week, this summer but that has not really materialised after his season fizzled out following a series of injuries in the second half of the campaign. understands that Bale will now stay at White Hart Lane for another season but Spurs top brass recognise that it will be difficult to fight off interest in their prize asset next summer if he maintains his progress in the coming months.

The Welshman won the PFA player of the year award last season but struggled to recover from a back injury and then his campaign ended early after he ruptured ankle ligaments following a Charlie Adam tackle.

Bale has returned to training this week but it is believed that the world’s elite clubs are waiting to see how he recovers from the injury before taking the plunge on a player who made Europe sit up and take notice with some outstanding performances on the club game’s biggest stage.

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