Gareth Bale's move to Real nears as Franco Baldini arrives in Madrid

Gareth Bale's signing for Real Madrid drew closer on Wednesday night when Spurs' sporting director, Franco Baldini, travelled to the Spanish capital, where he continued negotiations with Roma over Erik Lamela and Miralem Pjanic and sought to close a deal to have a Madrid player involved in the Bale transfer.

Sources at Madrid remain convinced that the Bale move will go ahead and Spurs do not want the saga to run to the final day. Both sides expect the deal to take place and it is believed the discussions now centre on whether there will be a player exchange involved, possibly Fábio Coentrão or whether it will be a straight cash deal.

Spurs have spent £60m on players and a £30m deal for Willian is likely to be finalised before the weekend, but André Villas-Boas remained coy when asked if Lamela and Coentrão were also imminent arrivals.

"They have not signed for Spurs," said the Tottenham manager. "Both of them are great players but I cannot extend myself. We will see some new players in defence and attack."

Powered by article was written by Sid Lowe in Madrid, for on Thursday 22nd August 2013 00.50 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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