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Bale wants to say farewell to Tottenham

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Gareth Bale faces a fight to be allowed to leave Tottenham. The club's stance on keeping the Welsh star was underlined when they turned down a world record bid of £86 million from Real Madrid. Bale's ambitions lie in Spain, while Tottenham obviously aren't interested in selling at any price.

Bale wants to play in the Champions League again. Tottenham finished fifth in the Premier League last season, just out of the Champions League places. Bale is also swayed by the illustrious history and image of Real Madrid, while his profile would rise substantially if he became the world's most expensive player. The fee would exceed the £80 million Real paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy seems unwilling to budge though, to the dismay of Bale and his advisers.

Bale previously seemed to intimate that he would be willing to remain at Tottenham. His contract still has three years to run and it seemed possible that he would sign an extension. He was the player chosen to launch the club's new kit for the 2013-14 season and he spoke about wanting to help the club secure a Champions League position. Manager Andre Villas-Boas has refused to comment on the situation, saying only that he expects Bale to turn up for pre-season training.

Bale remains the key to Tottenham's ambition to secure a permanent place in the top four. Insiders at the club believe that next season could offer a rare opportunity for Tottenham to challenge in the Premier League, with the big three of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all under new management.

The club have backed their ambition with some serious investment in the transfer market. Tottenham are about to finalise the signing of Valencia striker Roberto Soldado. He will join a squad reinforced by the record signing of Brazilian midfielder Paulinho and Belgian winger Nacer Chadli. The sale of Bale, if allowed to proceed, would still leave them with a massive profit from the summer.

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