Manchester United chiefs are determined to make an earth-shattering signing this summer.
And the Daily Mail says the decision has been made that a marquee signing is needed to help sweep away the doubts of a minority of supporters who feel David Moyes' appointment as Ferguson's replacement was a little 'small time', United owners the Glazer family are prepared to spend a significant amount of the club's transfer reserves.
To bring in Bale from White Hart Lane, however, would involve another tedious tug of war with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, and United are aware of what this would entail.
United know that Levy - with whom they have a poor relationship after buying Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov from Spurs - would play hard ball over his star asset and that any attempts to buy Bale would inevitably stretch towards the end of the transfer window.
United fear they would have to pay over the odds for Bale or end up in a stalemate, left with too little time to land an alternative target.