MADRID: Wales wingback Gareth Bale is close to a €40m transfer to Barcelona, according to a television channel run by Spanish football media platform Marca. The programme claimed that the Tottenham star was being offered a five-season contract worth a basic €5m-a-year.

Bale’s outstanding performances for Tottenham in the Champions League in 2010-11 brought him to the notice of all Europe’s leading clubs including Barcelona. The outgoing European and Spanish champions need a replacement for Eric Abidal who is recovering from a liver transplant. They have also been linked with Spain leftback Jordi Alba of Valencia.

Representatives from Tottenham are expected to attend Barcelona’s last game of the season, against Malaga, in Camp Nou tomorrow/Saturday.

Bale is admired particularly by Tito Vilanova who steps up from assistant coach to takes over Barcelona this summer from departing Pep Guardiola.


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