Big clubs set for Bale battle as Spurs move for replacement - report
Published 10:51 28/03/11 By MirrorFootball
A host of Europe's top clubs are gearing up for a summer battle for Gareth Bale, after Tottenham made an approach for a replacement, according to reports in the Italian press.
Daily newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport claims Spurs have made enquiries about Lyon's Brazilian left-sided player Michel Bastos, who they have identified as a potential replacement for Bale should the Welshman leave the club in the summer.
This has alerted Real Madrid, Manchester United, Manchester City, Barcelona and Inter Milan to Bale's availability.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp is desperate to keep the 21-year-old at White Hart Lane and he even signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract earlier this month, but if the club fail to qualify for the Champions League, he may still look to leave.
Should that happen, the fact that he is tied to a long-term contract simply means Spurs will be able to negotiate a higher transfer fee.
Bastos, 27, is similar to Bale in that he can play on either flank or at left-back.
He spent three years with Lille before moving to Lyon in 2009. He has played 10 times for Brazil and was in their World Cup squad.