Paper Round: Bale's Real deal

Tottenham managed to hang on to Gareth Bale this summer despite renewed interest from the biggest clubs in the world - but if he does leave White Hart Lane it will be to go to Real Madrid, according to Sunday's papers.

Premier League - Match facts: Reading v Tottenham Hotspur

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Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale

The Sunday Mirror reports that Real Madrid have cut a deal with Tottenham to ensure that they will have first refusal on Bale if and when he decides to move.

The Welsh winger signed a new contract with Spurs in June to quash any talk of a transfer during the recently-closed window, but Spurs would let him

The deal was reportedly agreed as part of Tottenham's partnership agreement with Real Madrid, which was announced at the same time as the sale of Luka Modric to Jose Mourinho's side.

Should a deal go through for Bale the fee would be around £45 million, but under the terms of the agreement Tottenham would instead be able to take their pick of talent from Real Madrid's pool of players.

Such complicated negotiations seem par for the course at Tottenham these days: the Sunday Telegraph reports that Porto's Joao Moutinho was "minutes away" from joining Spurs on Friday night.

A deal was agreed with the club for £24m after the player pushed to join his former mentor Andre Villas-Boas, but the sticking points were the £3.8m of the fee demanded by Moutinho's former club Sporting Lisbon, and the and £3.6m apparently due to a mysterious investor. Despite an hour's extension the details could not be worked out in time.

Liverpool fans were left enraged by the club letting Andy Carroll move to West Ham this summer without securing a replacement.

And it seems they're not the only ones: the Mail on Sunday reports that manager Brendan Rogers was apoplectic after the sale was allowed to go through before a deal for Clint Dempsey was nailed down.

Dempsey ended up moving to Tottenham for £6m - £1m more than Reds bosses agreed to pay - leaving Rodgers with just one senior striker in Luis Suarez. Paul Dalglish Tweeted that Rodgers's head will "explode with rage" as he feels the carpet has been pulled out from beneath him, but Rodgers has at least been told that "Friday's debacle will be taken into account if the club miss out on a top four finish."

Somehow we doubt that will soften the blow: if Rodgers had wanted to stay at a club that is happy to sell off its best talent he could have stayed at Swansea.

Rodgers's only option now is to pursue free agents. Sadly for Liverpool fans, those reports that Didier Drogba had been released by Shangahi Shenhua are premature. Some bloke called Michael Owen is apparently out of contract, though...

Harry Redknapp is being lined up for his next job in the Premier League - and it looks like he'll be going to Southampton. The Star on Sunday reports that the Saints are ready to kick Nigel Adkins out of the door as soon as they start struggling, with Redknapp to be parachuted in. Some thanks that would be for Adkins, who has guided the club through successive promotions.

The Mail on Sunday also reports that Chelsea have agreed a £48m deal to bring Atletico Madrid hitman Radamel Falcao to Stamford Bridge in January.

Falcao scored a hat-trick as Atletico tore Chelsea to shreds in the European Super Cup, but the financial problems faced by his club mean they may be forced to sell him off.

And finally, Robbie Fowler has put his hat in to the ring for the Chesterfield manager's job, according to the Sunday Express. The 37-year-old wants to get into management after a recent spell as player-coach of Thailand's Muanthong United.

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