Gareth Bale to Tottenham Hotspur is a real thing.

The Welshman has been linked with Spurs repeatedly in recent years, yet it’s never felt quite as serious as it does now. Real Madrid’s local media are all over it, given the club’s eagerness to see the back of Bale.

El Confidencial is a good source for Madrid news, usually not quite as excitable as the other media covering the club.

They have an article explaining there’s ‘maximum pressure’ on the player, and state his teammates have told him he needs to find a new destination where he can be happy. Despite Bale being a ‘cool and calm person’, El Confidencial say he’s showing symptoms of the stress which could make him ‘explode’.

Now ‘determined’ to leave Real Madrid, the player left his club’s training ground on Tuesday without watching his teammates in a friendly match, something which didn’t go down well with the media.

Jose Mourinho is showing an ‘insistence’ to sign Bale for Tottenham, but there’s no ‘concrete and firm offer’ yet, despite claims otherwise. El Confidencial believe tearing up Bale’s contract is preferable to Madrid over a loan deal, however, either way, agreement would be needed on what happens with his wages.

There’s a suggestion Real Madrid could drag this out until the end of the window, waiting and hoping for a club to arrive and take him on a conventional transfer. That feels unlikely, and unless Manchester United seriously become involved, this one looks like a case of Tottenham hammering the best deal out of Madrid.