Barça Coach Guardiola likes the ways of Bale & sees the 22 year old as a possible substitute for Frenchmen Eric Abidal who is currently negotiating to renew his contract. Negotiations that are taking longer than expected & has opened a window of uncertainty that Barça wish to cover with a Plan B.
The Spanish paper even goes as far as to speculate (has no real evidence) that Barça would be willing to pay Tottenham around 40M€ for their player. Said all this, Barcelona also has Valencia CF & Spanish International JORDI ALBA up their sleeve in case the "English option" falls through & cannot be made.
As you can see SPANISH FOOTBALL & Clubs are busy working all year round. Stay tuned for developments!