Zinedine Zidane has hinted that Real Madrid could make Gareth Bale the most expensive player of all-time in a bid to bring him to the Bernabeu.
Tottenham Hotspur are determined to hold onto their stellar Welshman, but the optimistic tone that emanated from White Hart Lane at the end of last season has dissipated.
The Bale camp is quiet, while Los Blancos continue to make fawning noises whenever the attacking midfielder is mentioned.
Spurs simply do not want to sell, but if Real offer them the kind of money they gave Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009, the North London club will surely do more than just listen.
Real broke the transfer record to sign CR7, paying £80 million which the Portuguese superstar has arguably proved value for money.
And the Spanish club’s increasingly influential director of football Zidane, who has long professed his admiration for Bale, says it could take even more to buy the Spurs talisman.
"The talk about Gareth Bale is not a surprise," Zidane said, according to the Daily Mail.
"It is impossible to have the season he just had and not be linked with the biggest clubs in Europe.
"If any club is going to tempt Spurs, then it will take big money - maybe even record-breaking money.
“There are four or five clubs at the moment who have the finances not to be put off by a record-breaking fee like that."
Is Bale worth CR7-level money?