Chelsea handed boost to land £86m long-term target

Gareth Bale has ‘exhausted’ the patience of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, and he is set to sell the Wales international this summer transfer window.

It was hoped the former Tottenham Hotspur winger would step up and become the European champions’ talisman following the departure of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, but it has been far from the case, with Santiago Solari using him sparingly.

And Florentino Perez is prepared to dispose of him in the summer, as Gareth Bale has only netted seven league goals this campaign, with Real Madrid languishing in third place behind bitter rivals Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

Chelsea have been heavily linked with a move for the attacker, with a return to Spurs also suggested in some quarters, while Arsenal hero Robert Pires even suggested that the Gunners should target the 29-year-old.

Florentino Perez is willing to recoup the majority of the £86 million fee Real Madrid paid for the Welshman, although the player has refused to leave in the past.

Los Blancos had the chance to reduce the nine-point gap to just six points when they faced Barcelona in the latest El Clasico on at Santiago Bernabeu Saturday night. But the Madrid side suffered third loss in the season against bitter rivals with the gap increasing to twelve points.

Meanwhile, Spanish giants manager Santiago Solari was forced to defend the out-of-form Wales international ahead of the crunch La Liga match. ‘Everyone knows what Bale can do, and they know what he has given to the club,’ said the head coach.