Cheeky Real Madrid intend to pay no more than £21.7m this summer to sign the Tottenham star – with the rest of the cash paid in installments.
That will infuriate Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, who is resigned to losing Gareth Bale – but only on terms agreeable to the north Londoners.
He wants more money up front so that he can invest in new signings to fill the hole that will be left by Bale’s departure.
Levy is expected to meet Real president Florentino Perez for talks on Wednesday in Miami, where the deal will be thrashed out. The Spanish giants have also tried to lower the cash price by throwing in Bernabeu misfits Fabio Coentrao and Angel di Maria.
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas likes Coentrao, who has given the green light for the move. His agent is expected in London tomorrow to discuss personal terms.
But Tottenham have issues with Real’s valuation of the Portugal full-back at more than £20m. They also have no interest in Di Maria.
So far, all negotiations between the clubs have been dealt with by Spurs’ Franco Baldini and Real’s director general Jose Angel Sanchez.
But there could be fireworks when Levy and Perez finally meet face to face after weeks of Real trying to unsettle Bale.
Madrid refused to give up the chase even when presented with a written document by Spurs refusing to negotiate his sale this summer.
But they look set to get their man if terms can be thrashed out in the States by the two most powerful men at each club.
Double Player of the Year award winner Bale was not on the flight for Spurs’ pre-season friendly with Monaco last night.
Meanwhile, former Real boss Jose Mourinho has revealed how he tried to sign Bale for the Spanish giants last year.
“I asked the club to buy him last season but it was not possible,” he said.
“It looks like it is happening this season so I am happy for them because they get a fantastic player.
“The fee is a huge number and there’s pressure to prove that he’s worth it.”
Mourinho believes Bale would have fitted in well in his Madrid side – and says his successor Carlo Ancelotti will make the most of him.
The new Chelsea boss added: “I think he was an easy player to get into that tactical dynamic.
“Carlo is an experienced coach at the top level and he will get the best out of Bale for sure.”