Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas said on Sunday that he expected Bale to be back in London on Tuesday after giving the forward the weekend off.
However, unlike the rest of his team-mates, the Welshman did not turn up for training at the club's training ground in Enfield on Tuesday morning, to further fuel talk he is finally on the verge of a huge world-record transfer to the La Liga giants.
Sources in Bale's camp played down suggestions that the player has become "furious and frustrated" with Tottenham's handling of his proposed move, which looks like being set at least £86million.
Yet it is clear that all three parties involved did not expect the saga to drag on for this long.
Real first indicated their interest in Bale two months ago, but, with less than a week left of the transfer window, the 24-year-old remains a Spurs player.