Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/25/14
Tottenham Hotspur wants to keep Gareth Bale, but Real Madrid will test its resolve by making an earth-shaking transfer bid for the Welsh star. Real Madrid is prepared to spend £60 million ($90.7 million) to bring English soccer’s premier player to the Bernabeu by mid-June, the Star reports. “Real Madrid are confident they will win the battle for Gareth Bale -– and have set a June 15 deadline for the deal to be done with Tottenham,” the report says. “The Spanish giants raised the stakes by increasing their offer for the double Player of the Year to £60 million.” Bale was disappointed with Tottenham’s fifth-place finish in the Premier League, but he gave no indication that he wanted to leave in search of UEFA Champions League soccer. Tottenham reportedly offered the free-scoring winger a new contract, but he didn’t sign it before going on vacation. The Spanish club can offer Bale a salary which dwarfs anything he can earn in North London. His current deal expires in 2016, but Real Madrid wants him as its marquee summer 2013 signing. On Wednesday, the BBC reports Bale’s agent fanned the rumor flames by telling a Spanish television show that his client would consider joining Real Madrid. “If somebody like Mr Perez [Real Madrid president Florentino Perez] was interested in Gareth Bale it would be a great honor and we would listen,” Jonathan Barnett reportedly said. Real Madrid’s interest in Bale dates back to at least last summer. After signing Luca Modric from Tottenham last August, Real Madrid formed a commercial partnership with the Premier League club. Many thought the link-up would give Real Madrid the first option on Tottenham’s stars, but that was never confirmed. Nevertheless, the Spanish club is stepping up its charm offensive. Real Madrid Both defender Sergio Ramos and director Zinedine Zidane have spoken glowingly of Bale in the last week, and Spanish media outlets (with close ties to Real Madrid) are focusing on the Bale pursuit.  Bale finished first in a poll of Madrid fans who were asked which player they most wanted the club to sign this summer. Real Madrid is used to getting the players it wants, and it often uses these tactics to get its way. Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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