It has been thought for some weeks that an agreement was in place for Bale to move to Madrid, with suggestions his trip to Spain over the weekend would have also seen him finalise details over a deal that was likely to break the world record transfer fee.
But, with a week remaining in the transfer window, it now appears that Madrid is not the only possible destination for the Wales international.
Press Association Sport understands that a second, mystery club have entered the bidding - with speculation that Manchester United have firmed up their long-standing interest in Bale.
The 24-year-old has missed Tottenham's 100 per cent start to the season but Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas revealed following Sunday's 1-0 win over Swansea that he expected Bale back at the club's Enfield training ground on Tuesday.
"Monday is a day off. Tuesday is training so I would expect him to be there," he said.
"We have allowed him two days off.
"It's not the first time this has come up. We never force non-selected players to come to our games. I decided that last season."
With potential fees for Bale reportedly varying from £80m to £100m, there would be few clubs other than Madrid who have the spending power to pull off a move for the winger, who was named both PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year last season.
Villas-Boas maintains there is a possibility Bale could even stay at White Hart Lane, where he scored 26 goals in all competitions last year as Tottenham only just missed out on a Champions League berth.
"There is interest from Real Madrid," Villas-Boas said.
Madrid have even gone to the trouble of erecting a podium from which to present Bale to 50,000 Madridistas on Tuesday - though their glitzy ceremony will have to be cancelled if they are gazumped at this late stage.