Tottenham dig in over Bale deal
Tottenham are understood to be prepared to make Real Madrid wait for Gareth Bale until after this weekend's north London derby with Arsenal.
Bale's world-record £86m move to the Bernabeu has yet to be sealed as the player and his proposed new employers become increasingly agitated.
Real vice-president Fernando Fernández-Tapias accused Spurs this week of dragging their feet over the deal and warned that the Spanish side was a great one even "without Bale".
The Welsh winger's representatives are understood to be holding talks with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy on Friday in a bid to finally bring an end to the saga of the summer.
But it is thought Spurs are determined to string out negotiations until after Sunday's showdown, for fear of triggering a series of events that could see up to three players join the Gunners from Madrid.
Reports on Friday claimed Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, under pressure to make signings before Tuesday's deadline, was willing to blow his entire transfer budget on Real trio Karim Benzema, Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria.
But Spurs are also thought to have been irked by Real's decision to erect a stage to unveil their marquee recruit before the final handshakes.
Asked on Thursday if he thought that Bale would sign for Madrid, Fernández-Tapias said: "I think so, yes, but I could not swear to it entirely.
"We are going to wait and see what happens. Sometimes it is yes, sometimes it is no: they keep putting it off.
"(Bale) is not here, because there are problems there. We thought Bale was going to be with us by now but for the time being he is still not in Madrid.
"I don't doubt the value of the player but Real Madrid without Bale is still a strong Madrid. We have a great team."
Andre Villas-Boas says Spurs have more than enough quality to beat Arsenal this weekend without Bale.
Bale scored three times in four North London derby wins for Spurs but he will be absent on Sunday as he closes on his move to Real Madrid.
Tottenham have fared well without Bale so far, winning all four of their opening matches - two in the Premier League, two in the Europa League - without conceding a goal.
That has left boss Villas-Boas confident of victory at the Emirates.
"We have the quality to go there and win," he said. "I think we will set up to try to win the game and hopefully achieve the result we want."
Asked if Spurs would have to up their game to win on Sunday, Villas-Boas replied: "Yes. It is a different type of proposition on Sunday but it has special ingredients of a game that is unique in English football and full of emotion.
"Hopefully, if we set up properly, the match for sure will be a great game, because both teams want to play, want to win, want to attack, and hopefully it can be a present for the fans."