Over before it even started? The timeline on a frantic morning of Bale rumours
Tottenham Hotspur were poised to complete a sensational transfer deadline move for Gareth Bale - except they weren't. We break down what really happened.
- Done deals: All the Premier League ins and outs
- The top 10 January transfer targets - and where they could go
- All the deadline day deals from across Europe
- Transfer window shuts at 23:00 GMT on Friday 31 January
08:00 - Bale to Spurs is on*
Well actually this was mere speculation from Eurosport's very own Michael Hincks.
We asked him to gaze into his crystal ball and see what would happen on transfer deadline day and one of the things he predicted was a late move for Bale from Spurs.
*Based on nothing
09:20 - Oh wait it actually is on?!
Then came the news that none of us expected. Times journalist Matt Lawton tweeted saying that he had been told there was a breakthrough
" The finer details of a deal have not yet been agreed — not least how they frame a contract when Bale has been earning a staggering £500,000 a week at the Santiago Bernabeu — but The Times understands there is growing confidence among the Spurs hierarchy that they can sign the Welsh superstar today. "
"Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, travelled to Madrid for talks with Madrid president Florentino Perez in an effort to secure the services of the 30-year-old forward who moved from White Hart Lane to Madrid for what, in 2013, was a world record transfer of £85 million.”
09:41 - Zidane speaks
Commenting on the rumours at his press conference before the Madrid derby, Real boss Zinedine Zidane said he hoped Bale would stay at the club.
" Gareth is here with us and I am counting on him. I am not contemplating this possibility."
10:32 - Deal off
And just like that it was all over.
Lawton later offered an update saying that Spurs were now not confident of getting the deal done.
11:00 - Barnett comments
And in case there was any doubt Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett made it very clear what he thought.