The saga relating to Gareth Bale's future has taken a double twist this Wednesday.
Gareth Bale is to imminently return to Tottenham after his summer holidays, the first step in keeping him at the club for next season.
His agent Jonathan Barnett has been busy today making comments that place uncertainty over his future, claiming the player is open to considering a move.
He said: "Bale has not said no, nor yes. There's no offer from Madrid; they have to talk between themselves and we will see what happens."
While Bale is purported to be happy at Tottenham and under the management of Andre Villas-Boas, Barnett is widely regarded as the thorn in the club's side who is hoping to engineer his client a move.
His reasons are understandable, to strike while the iron is hot, after all with risk of injury always a threat and Bale in the form of his life, who is to say this opportunity will come again. And not to mention the rather substantial slice of a deal Barnett would no doubt acquire.
But with Tottenham standing firm and the odds against a transfer at present, Barnett's prospects of seeing a mega-deal for his client come off this summer have taken another blow.
Spanish newspaper Marca who have been vociferous in trying to push Bale in the direction of Madrid, have published a story today detailing that Real are ready to give up on the chase.
They report: "Real Madrid has decided to put the Gareth Bale signing on hold. After receiving yet another "no" from Tottenham Hotspur, Florentino Pérez and his team have decided to call it a day, and now see the signing of Bale this summer as impossible.
"Gareth Bale is not Luka Modric. The Welshman has done nothing to force a negotiation and help get Real's foot in the door. He seems resigned to the idea of playing out another year with Spurs, although his first intention was to tell his president that his wish was to play for Real Madrid."
However naturally it seems Madrid have not given up entirely, just placing the deal on the back-burner for this summer with Isco already acquired.
"Bale has no release clause, will not be making a transfer request, and considers that, being only 23, he has time enough to make the jump into the big time. And when that happens, he wants it to be with 'Los Blancos.'"
Whether they are right or wrong on that last point is open to interpretation, Marca may just be reaching.
But it appears despite any plans of his agent to engineer otherwise, Tottenham have succeeded in standing strong and repelling the Spanish advances.
Bale looks certain to be a Spurs player for next season.
image: © James Boyes