Gareth Bale's potential move to Real Madrid took a fresh twist when the player's agent appeared on Spanish television to say that they are ready to listen to offers from the nine-times European champions.
Madrid have made Bale their transfer priority and have already begun publicly courting the 23-year-old. But it appeared especially significant yesterday that Jonathan Barnett, Bale's agent, should agree to talk on the 'Futboleros' show on Marca TV.
It is a television station that has close links to Real Madrid and, although Barnett did point out that Bale had three years left on his contract, he did nothing to discourage an offer.
"If Florentino (Perez, the Real president) is interested in Gareth Bale, it would be an honour and we'd listen," Barnett said.
"But his contract is with Tottenham. We aren't free to talk with anybody at the moment.
"I can understand a lot of teams are interested in him. He's a great player but he has a contract with Tottenham. I don't know if there has been a bid. What I do know is that the player has three years left on his contract."
Bale signed his contract last year and, despite Tottenham's failure to qualify for the Champions League, will be offered a further pay rise this summer.
Even if Bale does not sign a new deal, Tottenham's stance is that he is not for sale and that they have "every intention" of keeping their best players this summer.
"We will not entertain any approaches," said Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.
There has been no formal bid from Real Madrid and it is understood that Tottenham have even received a letter from the Spanish club pledging that there will be no offer this summer.
Barcelona have beaten them this week to the transfer of Neymar from Santos and, with Carlo Ancelotti or Jupp Heynckes likely to arrive as manager at the Bernabeu next month, there would be the expectation of at least one marquee signing.
(© Daily Telegraph, London)