Tottenham could beat Manchester United to the signing of Gareth Bale.
Shrewd Spurs chairman Daniel Levy insisted on a first option clause being included in the Welshman’s world-record Real Madrid switch.
And should United have a bid accepted by Los Blancos, the North Londoners would have 72 hours to match the bid.
But the clock is ticking for Tottenham as the agreement runs out in 2019.
Spurs have yet to spend this summer despite flogging Kyle Walker to Manchester City.
And with a new stadium on the way for 2018, White Hart Lane chiefs should have the finances to get a deal over the line in two years.
But whether Bale, 28, would be willing to return to his former club is another matter.
The Welshman has gone on to earn superstar status since his switch and has won three Champions League titles in four seasons.
He may, however, want to be the main man at a club if he is not chosen as the successor to Bernabeu king Cristiano Ronaldo.
A lot could depend on whether Mauricio Pochettino can guide his young squad to domestic honours after coming up short twice in a row.
The Argie has trusted his players with a lack of activity in the market and will hope they repay his faith next season.
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