Real Madrid have lined up a big-money bid for the Spurs attacker but he is ready to sit down with the club and discuss extending his contract until 2018
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Gareth Bale is ready to reject a big-money move this summer if Tottenham go on to clinch a Champions League place, Goal.com understands.
Real Madrid are leading the £50 million chase for the Player of the Year contender, who has also attracted strong interest from Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City.
But the Welshman has told friends that he is happy at White Hart Lane and wants to stay for at least one more year.
His desire to remain in London comes as Tottenham prepare to offer Bale an improved contract for the fourth consecutive year.
He has signed contract extensions in each of the last three summers as Spurs have sought to protect his value in the transfer market, and chairman Daniel Levy is keen to tie his star player down to a five-year deal that runs until 2018.
The Spurs game-changer has blossomed into one of the most consistently exciting players in Europe this season as he leads Tottenham’s pursuit of a top-four finish, and the north Londoners are braced for a summer battle to hold on to him.
As revealed by Goal.com last week, Tottenham are increasingly confident of keeping Bale beyond this season and would dismiss bids that do not match their valuation of more than £50m.
In turn, the club’s confidence is now matched by indications from the Welshman’s camp that Europe’s hottest young property is settled at White Hart Lane as long as his ambitions are met.
“At the moment, Gareth wants to stay at Tottenham,” a source told Goal.com. “If Tottenham get in the Champions League next season, that is likely to be the decisive factor in making up his mind.
“He wants to test himself abroad at some point and everyone knows Real Madrid and a few others are interested but it is all about the timing. Gareth is still only 23 and he is very happy at Tottenham.
“As a young player, you need some security around you. A club like Real Madrid is a very different football environment and he is not a very outgoing character.”
The Spanish giants have tried to sign Bale for the last two-and-a-half years and are understood to have already held talks with his representatives.
The former Southampton man has barely hidden his desire to test himself abroad and the long-standing feeling within the club is that the Santiago Bernabeu will be his next destination. However, Spurs climbed seven points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal with Sunday’s 2-1 victory over their north London rivals and are in a strong position to qualify for Europe’s marquee club competition next season.
There is renewed confidence among the White Hart Lane hierarchy that Bale will stay, assuming he does not push for a transfer this summer in the same way that Dimitar Berbatov and Luka Modric have in recent years.
The player and his representatives are believed to be ready to sit down at the negotiating table with Spurs and talk about extending his contract until 2018. Discussions are likely to centre on a stipulation that he can leave in 2014 if the club’s valuation is met as chairman Daniel Levy attempts to secure funding for Tottenham’s new stadium.
Bale has been in sensational form since the turn of the year, which has coincided with manager Andre Villas-Boas handing him a free role in the team.
He has scored 24 goals for club and country this season, including 16 in the Premier League, a record bettered only by Luis Suarez and Robin van Persie. The converted winger has been the driving force behind Spurs’ climb to third in the table, scoring in each of the club’s last five league fixtures.