Exclusive - Up to seven Premier League sides are weighing up a loan move for Real Madrid's Gareth Bale this summer, if Los Blancos agree to pay a large part of the Welshman's wages.
After refusing to let Bale leave the club for free last summer, Madrid are facing the prospect of another year of paying Bale his £600,000 a week, despite the fact that he will likely continue to struggle for game time under manager Zinedine Zidane.
A much-maligned figure in the Spanish press, Bale stoked the flames of speculation over an imminent exit by admitting he would be open to a Premier League return, while away on international duty.
Real Madrid had previously been determined to avoid paying anything to offload Bale, instead urging bidders to pay a transfer fee to sign him permanently this summer. However, after he failed to attract any real interest, the club have changed their tune and are now prepared to subsidise his wages.
Club officials have spoken to a number of Premier League sides about a potential loan deal for Bale, and a source has confirmed to 90min that seven sides have made it clear that they would be interested in signing the Welshman.
Tottenham Hotspur, Bale's former side, are very much at the front of the queue for his signature. José Mourinho is known to be a huge fan and Daniel Levy has made it clear that they would be happy to pull the trigger on a deal, but only if it makes financial sense.
Spurs are understood to Bale's preferred landing spot, but Manchester United could also emerge as an option. The Red Devils remain keen on Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho but have told the Spanish champions that they might target the Welshman if they concede defeat in their pursuit of Sancho this summer.
Bale has also attracted interest from Everton, Leicester City, Newcastle United and West Ham United, but the winger's interest in moving to a team outside the traditional top six is unclear.
Elsewhere, interest in the four-time Champions League winner remains in the Far East, but the Welshman is unsure whether such a move would be right for him. The same goes for Major League Soccer, although the 31-year-old would discuss a move to America later in his career.