Gareth Bale’s return to Tottenham could come via loan swap with Dele

We barely took enough breath to fully process the bombshell news that Tottenham Hotspur is in negotiations with Real Madrid not only for the return of Gareth Bale to his former club, but also for the acquisition of left-back Sergio Reguilon.

But the news does not end there. Oh no. According to Matt Law in the Telegraph, the deal that could bring Gareth home on a one-year loan on subsidized wages could potentially have a pretty dramatic move in the other direction – a one-year loan back from Dele at the Bernabeu.

This is the rarest of transfers – the loan swap. The article is behind a paywall, but that’s why we’re here. Buckle up, let’s dig.

According to Law, a POTENTIAL option would be to send Bale on loan to Spurs for a one-year contract with Madrid by subsidizing 50% of his £ 600,000 salary. That leaves Spurs on the hook for £ 300,000 / week. However, Dele would then return to Madrid with a similar one-year loan, with Madrid paying his entire salary of £ 150,000 / week.

The end result is that Spurs receive Bale for a season at £ 150,000 / week. while Madrid are left with a year of full pay Dele. What happens after that is a guess – it will depend on how both players feel (and behave) at their respective new clubs.

And wait – it might get wilder.

Another possibility is that both players make permanent moves, but that would likely require Real to pay a fee for Alli as he is seven years younger than Bale, 31, and still has four years left on his contract with the Spurs.

—Matt Law, the telegraph

It is very important here to say the following – these are POSSIBILITIES, not certainties. Negotiations between Madrid and Tottenham are ongoing, and in the article Law is careful enough to say that these are talking points, not ends. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a loan swap in action, let alone such a prestigious swap involving a Premier League club. We don’t know if Levy rejected them outright, or what. Law, however, suggests that these are two ideas that have been discussed.

Certainly, something like that puts a substantial damper on my enthusiasm for a Gareth Bale comeback. Even though my little heart is racing at the thought of Bale’s sensational return to north London, it actually stops a beat at the thought of cutting the bait off a player like Dele, especially when the return is a 31-year-old injury-prone player. It’s a deeply strange idea and I really don’t like it.

Real Madrid are said to admire Dele and inquire about him several times in the past. There is a story there, and there have been whispers that Dele could be a square peg in the round holes in Jose Mourinho’s tactics. Add to that the revelations of the Amazon documentary “All or Nothing” where Mourinho calls Dele “lazy” and “bad coach” and the consequences of Sunday’s loss against Everton, where Mou replaced Dele at halftime and then called the whole team lazy. Against this background, you start to wonder if there could be something to this after all.

It’s a moving target. Nothing is set in stone at this point. We don’t know if a Bale deal can be done, but Law says there is a will on both sides to come to some sort of arrangement. It would certainly be something if the return of an important player from Spurs past came at the expense of one of his best players of the past five years.

UPDATE (4:45 p.m.): MDR LET FALL

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