Real Madrid are reportedly set to use Gareth Bale as a pawn in their bid to beat Manchester United to land Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino’s services next summer.
Following the recent sacking of Jose Mourinho, Pochettino has emerged as the clear favourite to succeed the Portguese and take the reins at Old Trafford next term. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been appointed as interim manager until the end of the season.
However, following the sacking of Julen Lopetegui earlier this season, Real Madrid are in a similar position to their Premier League counterparts. Santiago Solari has been placed in temporary charge and, according to the Daily Star, Los Blancos will move for Pochettino.
Solari’s interim spell at the Bernabeu, like Solskjaer’s with United, is due to expire at the end of the season, leaving both European giants seeking a new permanent boss next summer – and that is set to spark a huge battle for Spurs coach Pochettino.
It is said that with United having entered the race to lure the Argentine away from north London, Madrid have grown concerned that they could miss out on landing the 46-year-old tactician. As such, Los Blancos are prepared to offer Gareth Bale in part-exchange.
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The Welsh superstar has taken on an increased role at the Bernabeu this term following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus last summer. However, such is Madrid’s apparent determination to land Pochettino’s services, they are prepared to offload Bale in the process.
It is said that Tottenham would demand at least £45m in compensation from any club hoping to prise away their star manager, and Madrid would hope that offering Tottenham first refusal on Bale could sweeten any potential deal for the European champions.
Bale has been an integral part of an era-defining Madrid side which has won four Champions League titles during the 29-year-old’s time in the Spanish capital.
However, the forward is still fondly remembered as a Spurs hero, having starred in north London before making a then-world-record move to Madrid in 2013.
Madrid are apparently willing to facilitate a cut-price move which would see Bale return to his former club, on the condition that the move clears Los Blancos’ path to landing Pochettino next summer.