Tottenham Hotspur will agree to sell Gareth Bale to Real Madrid as long as they get Luka Modric back as part of the deal, according to reports.
Despite Spurs' firm stance over the Wales international, a move to the Bernabeu this summer looks increasingly likely, with the only remaining issue being what an overall deal involves. Real have so far reportedly offered £80 million while Tottenham are looking for a package in excess of £100 million.
Tottenham are keen that they are not caught short by losing Bale, even for a huge sum, without them having a top player to fill the void.
Although Modric left White Hart Lane under something of a cloud a year ago for an initial £28 million, reports in The Times and the London-based Evening Standard suggest some of that fee is still outstanding and a guarantee of first-team football might tempt him back to North London.
When questioned about Real's interest in Bale at the weekend, Modric spoke of his admiration for his former team-mate.
"I have a very good relationship with Bale, but I don’t talk about players who aren’t in the team," he told Marca. "All I can say is that he’s a great player."
If Modric does return to White Hart Lane then it will leave Manchester United contemplating another of their transfer targets to move elsewhere.
Reports on Tuesday suggested that the Premier League champions were preparing to launch a £25 million bid for Modric as their search for a top-class midfielder continues, having seen Thiago Alcantara move to Bayern Munich and Cesc Fabregas seemingly set to stay at Barcelona.