As trivial as it sounds, Bale has recently sought to trademark his goal celebration under the ‘Eleven of Hearts’ name, so being given his shirt of choice would be a big incentive to join at the Bernabeu.
And it was all going so well at Spurs, too, with Andre Villas-Boas having turned down the chance to manage Paris Saint-Germain, in a Telegraph exclusive elsewhere in the back pages this morning. Fabio Capello, incidentally, is the new favourite for that job.
Spanish daily Marca have been describing Bale as ‘The Eleventh Galactico’, and say Real Madrid will be patient to seal the deal this summer – although in Paper Round’s view, the constant stream of flattery, cajoling and general media brow-beating of the player and his club to get him to Spain don’t seem especially patient.
Real Madrid haven’t moved heaven and earth to make the shirt available – it has become free after Ricardo Carvalho left for Monaco earlier in the summer.
But if Bale does get to the shirt it is a luxury that even Cristiano Ronaldo himself missed out on – the CR7 tag he had built at Manchester United had to be hastily rebranded to CR9 when he went to Spain – although since Raul moved on the Portuguese has now finally claimed his preferred number.
Speaking of Ronaldo, the Independent says the player has been advised to stay put at Real Madrid for 18 months before he considers a switch to Manchester United.
His current deal at the Bernabeu runs out in June 2015 – if he runs the deal down he will get the most lucrative new contract, picking up a substantial signing-on fee and wage deal as United save on a transfer fee.
Taking the transfer fee out of the equation would put United on a more competitive financial footing with Ligue 1 big-spenders Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain.
The numbers are astonishing – the Independent speculates on a €60m (£50.7m) signing on fee, €20m a year net in wages (£325,000 a week), and 100% of his image rights earnings (Real Madrid currently hold 40% of those).
Elsewhere in the papers, the Mirror again picks up on rumour from Spain that Juan Mata could be on his way to Barcelona.
The Liga champions have been put on alert for the Chelsea star because reportedly Jose Mourinho has blocked a pay rise for the Spaniard.
Mata believes he was due an increase under the terms of his current contract after a stunning season in which he scored 19 goals and created 35.
Although most reckoned Mata the pick of Chelsea’s attacking midfielders last season, it is an area of the team that the Blues are well-stocked in, and at 25, Mata’s own stock has never been higher.
The Daily Mail turn their attention to Liverpool, meanwhile, whose summer of scouring the continent for talented youngsters continues.
21-year-old, Christian Atsu, the Porto forward, is the subject of an initial £5m bid from the Reds (although the Portuguese champions have told Liverpool to up that offer), while Brendan Rodgers is also looking at Sevilla’s Luis Alberto, 20.
And unsurprisingly, there’s no shortage of back-page reaction to Joe Kinnear’s appointment as Newcastle United’s director of football.
The Sun, under the headline Looney Toon, say that Alan Pardew was conspicuous by his absence from the welcoming committee.
The Telegraph add that the current manager will play the waiting game at Newcastle, and is keeping his options open on whether he can work with the new man.
The Daily Star suggest, by contrast, that Pardew has ‘vowed to win his power struggle’ with Kinnear, and the pair spoke for several hours yesterday. With odds of 6-5 on Pardew being the first manager to be sacked this season, the markets do not share that confidence.
Additionally, he ‘is concerned that if Kinnear continues to air outrageous comments, it will make his own job ever harder’.
That may be true, but it will make Paper Round’s job much, much easier.