Gareth Bale flies back to UK to prepare for transfer to Real Madrid

• Bale set to sign six-year contract at £8.5m a year net
• But deal yet to be completed amid reports of rival bid

Gareth Bale was due to fly back to the UK on Monday as he awaits the completion of his move to Real Madrid.

The Welshman had spent the last two days in Marbella, on Spain's south coast, and had planned to travel back to London anyway. He flew to Spain believing that a deal was virtually secured but no formal agreement had been reached and there were discrepancies in the fees being filtered by the two clubs.

Spurs have claimed that there is another bid, which emphasises that the deal is still not done and means that Madrid will not be able to present Bale on Tuesday as they had hoped to do. The existence of a rival bid, or of Spurs' insistence that there is another bid, could also be a tactic to try to force up the price.

Sources at Madrid have previously claimed the deal would be £78m (€90.8m), with Tottenham suggesting a figure closer to €100m (£85m).

Bale's camp had already worked out a package with Madrid that meant he would sign a six-year contract, with an annual salary close to €10m a year net, or £8.5m. That would take the cost of the total package for Madrid above €200m (£172m).

The discrepancies in the fee appear to have reflected different proposed payment schedules, with a lower fee being applicable in the event of Madrid paying up front. Spurs, however, are keen for Real to be seen to break the world-record fee of £80m that they paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo. Real and Tottenham have yet to reach a definitive agreement and confirm the move officially.

Reports in Spain said the deal was done after a meeting last Wednesday night. Those same reports, though, had claimed that Bale's signing would be announced last Friday and presented on Saturday, so as not to overshadow a match held in honour of their former captain Raúl.

If that was truly the intention, it failed. The following morning the cover of the country's best-selling newspaper was a wrap-around dominated by Bale, not Raúl; but there was no presentation or announcement.

Moreover that bullishness irritated the Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy. Photographs from the Bernabéu showed that, following the match, Madrid had begun to construct a stage in front of the directors' box to provide a platform from where Bale would be presented and reports, judged by Spurs to have been strategically placed, suggested the unveiling was imminent.

In the meantime Tottenham's bid for Willian was hijacked by Chelsea, meaning they have yet to complete the signings of Bale's replacements. They are still trying to finalise a deal for Roma's Argentinian forward Erik Lamela.

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