Club: Tottenham Hotspur
Wanted By: Real Madrid
The transfer of Gareth Bale from Spurs to Madrid is the least complicated of the sagas dominating the headlines this summer, with the supposed fee being the only stumbling block that’s holding up the imminent move. Real President Florintino Perez has indicated that he is willing to pay up to £85m for the Welsh winger but the offer has been rebuffed by Tottenham’s notoriously austere chairman Daniel Levy. Levy feels Bale’s value is closer to £100M, a fee that will make Bale the world’s most expensive player and first ever to command a nine figure sum. Although Perez is being coy in regards to upping his bid, Madrid are not known for their financial prudence and will almost certainly give in to Tottenham’s demands
If Bale does leave for the Spanish capital it will mark a rise in fortunes of meteoric proportions for the player. It’s easy to forget that he was nearly sold in January 2009 after failing to win any of his first 24 games for Spurs. His hoodoo was broken when an injury crisis meant Bale was repositioned as a left winger, having spent the first 18 months of his Tottenham career toiling at left back. He made the position his own; his goals helping Spurs to a top 4 finish with the club qualifying for Champions League football in the process. Over the following two seasons Bale upped his game even further, with highlights including a hat-trick in the San Siro against Inter Milan and a late winner in the North London Derby (no mention of his blatant diving in said match? – Arsenal supporting Ed). It was last year that Bale really arrived on the big stage though; scoring 21 goals and winning Young Player of the Year and Player of the Year. While it was a season of great reward on a personal level it was one of disappointment for Spurs with the club narrowly missing out on Champions League qualification.
Despite having failed to qualify for this year’s Champions League, it was expected that Bale would stay on for one more season in North London. Levy and Spurs manager Andres Villa Boas were both adamant at the start of the summer that it would take crazy money for Spurs to even consider selling. Enter Real Madrid and a bid of £85m. It would have shocked if it wasn’t so predictable. This is Real Madrid after all; a team that’s spent over a billion in transfer fees alone since 2000. Money is no object for Madrid; it doesn’t matter that at £85m Bale is grossly overpriced or that given their attacking options he’s not really needed. Bale fits in with the clubs Galácticos policy and therefore must be signed at any cost.
Throughout this saga Bale has maintained a dignified silence; he hasn’t publically professed his loyalty to Spurs but he hasn’t courted Madrid either. For this reason Bale should leave Spurs on amicable terms. Spurs fans will be disconsolate at his departure but will respect his decision to leave for a bigger club. The deal makes sense for Spurs as well; it gives them financial security for years to come and allows them to strengthen the team in other areas. For Bale, only time will tell if it’s the right move. Madrid are one of the biggest teams in the world but Bale wouldn’t be the first player to fail at the club. His success will be determined on his ability to cope with the pressures of being the world’s most expensive player and his ability to cope with the scrutiny of the Madrid media and fans. While it may sound daunting, if the past three years have proved anything it’s that Gareth Bale loves a challenge.
Probable Outcome: £95m move to Madrid (with Alvaro Morata joining Spurs on loan)
[Image: Wiki Commons]