Welsh winger Gareth Bale has left Tottenham Hotspur's training ground after reportedly telling manager Andre Villas-Boas of his desire to join Spanish football giants Real Madrid.
Bale spent around five hours at the club's training base, during which time he is said to have informed Villas-Boas of his intentions amid mounting rumours about a lucrative move to Real Madrid in a possible world record transfer deal.
Villas-Boas said during the club's pre-season visit to Hong Kong last week that they were in talks with the highly rated player, who scored 26 goals last season, about a new contract.
He said he was optimistic of reaching agreement on a deal but fuelled speculation that Bale would leave the club after saying that there was currently no agreement.
Since then, the British and Spanish media have gone into overdrive, with Bale reportedly being given a price tag upwards of the record 80 million pounds Real paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
The Guardian newspaper says Real's indicated they are willing to pay a world record 100 million pounds for Bale while Spanish sports daily Marca has claimed that Spurs have demanded a fee of 125 million pounds for the 24-year-old.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has also been reported as having set up a meeting with Real president Florentino Perez in Miami next week, where the Spanish club are due to play in a pre-season tournament, to broker a deal.
Bale's family were even said to have met Levy earlier this week to persuade him to allow the player to go, even though he has reportedly not submitted a formal transfer request.
The Daily Mirror claimed Levy was holding out for the best price for Bale and would be prepared to bring back Luka Modric, who left White Hart Lane for the Bernabeu last year in a similarly drawn-out transfer saga.