The news will serve as a huge blow to David Moyes, who wanted Bale to swap White Hart Lane for Old Trafford.
Marca now claim that Madrid are to embark on “long and tedious” negotiations with Spurs for a world-record transfer fee.
United chief executive Ed Woodward had flown back from the pre-season tour early to deal with transfer negotiations, although it appears Madrid are now in pole position to sign him.
This is in spite of Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas insisting Bale is not for sale at any price.
Starsport earlier reported how Bale had told Spurs he wanted to go.
These were more claims made by Marca, a daily Spanish newspaper with offices in Madrid near to the Bernabeu.
Bale netted 31 goals for Spurs last season but they missed out on qualification to the Champions League.