Real Madrid are in talks to try to sign Gareth Bale, coach Carlo Ancelotti has revealed, amid speculation that the Spaniards could be prepared to break the world transfer record for the highly rated winger.
"It is difficult to talk about Bale because he is not a Real Madrid player at present," Ancelotti told a news conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday evening.
"I think the club is negotiating to try to find a solution and we will see what happens," he added according to a report on the club's official website realmadrid.com.
Bale's club Tottenham Hotspur have faced persistent questions about their star winger, who was voted player of the year last season by his English Premier League peers after scoring 26 goals.
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas said during the club's pre-season visit to Hong Kong last week that they were in talks with the 24-year-old about a new contract.
But he fuelled speculation by revealing that no deal had been signed yet. Since then reports have emerged in Britain and Spain that Real were prepared to go well beyond the $122m they paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
Spanish sports daily Marca claimed that Spurs have demanded a fee of $189m for the player.
Bale spent five hours at Spurs' Enfield training ground north of London on Wednesday and told Villas-Boas that he was keen to join Real, Sky Sports television reported, quoting unnamed sources.
Real are currently in the United States to play in a pre-season tournament involved England's Chelsea, both AC and Inter Milan of Italy, Valencia and Los Angeles Galaxy.