Real Madrid are reportedly prepared to offer Gareth Bale a new contract which would increase his £300,000-a-week wages, move him closer to parity with team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and end hopes of the Welshman returning to the Premier League.
The 26-year-old still has three years remaining on the six-year contract which he signed upon joining at the Santiago Bernabéu in 2013 for a world-record fee in the region of £85m.
The former Tottenham Hotspur forward, according to the Daily Telegraph, is in line to be rewarded for overtaking Gary Lineker’s record as the highest British goal-scorer in La Liga history with his 43rd goal during the 4-0 demolition of Sevilla on Sunday evening.
News of a lucrative pay rise for the Wales international, as well as the addition of an extra two-years onto his current deal, is unlikely to be greeted well by Ronaldo, who still considers himself as the primary galáctico in Zinedine Zidane’s squad.
The Bernabéu hierarchy, spearheaded by club president and Bale ally Florentino Pérez, are expecting interest from a host of English clubs for both players this summer but appear to be setting their priorities early.
Manchester United have been relentlessly linked with a £70m offer for Bale but would gladly switch their attention to trying to tempt Ronaldo back to Old Trafford if they were to fail with a move for the former Southampton winger.
The report continues by adding that Real consider losing Bale as unconceivable and would sooner offload Isco, James Rodríguez and even Ronaldo with the threat of a transfer embargo refusing to subside.
Many assumed the sacking of Rafael Benítez in January, now at Newcastle United, could have proven to be the final straw for Bale and provoke the Cardiff-born forward into forcing through a premature exit.
Cracks in relations appear to have been smoothed over in recent months, however, under the Spaniard’s successor Zidane.
“I'm very happy,” Bale said at full-time following the Sevilla victory, which leaves Madrid in third-place, 10 points adrift of Barcelona. “This new record gives me joy and now the important thing is to improve. You have to try to improve.
“It's a good result and we have to carry on like this, keeping this rhythm. It's good news to have all the squad available and we have enjoyed having everyone available.
“We knew that it would be a difficult game today, we played very good and we have to continue like this in the rest of the games. We're working a lot and we hope to give everything in each game.
“I'm not going away with the national team, I'll stay here with other players and I'll train to be at 100 per cent.”