The Tottenham ace remains their biggest target despite the increasingly-desperate Spanish giants admitting last week they could be forced to wait 12 months to get him.

Yesterday, Madrid even shamelessly released pictures of a mocked-up No.11 shirt with Bale's number on the back - and insist they will keep it for him until he joins.

A source close to the Real president Florentino Perez told Starsport: "We will try to sign Bale until the day the summer market closes. He is our top long-term priority.

"If we can sign players like Zidane, Beckham and Ronaldo, we can sign Bale."

Perez plans to fly in with the team for their July 21 friendly with Bournemouth so he can hold face-to-face talks with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

But that looks set to be a wasted trip as the Tottenham hierarchy are expected to join Andre Villas-Boas and Co on the flight out to the Barclays Asia Trophy in Hong Kong that weekend.

Spurs have so far refused every attempt to start talks over Bale, who they rate in the £100m bracket, and insist he is not for sale.