The current situation at White Hart Lane is one we have all seen before. Tottenham have a world class player on their hands and their Chairman, Daniel Levy, is refusing to sell unless he gets the exact amount he wants. He is a notorious for driving a hard bargain. Recent similar situations include the sale of Dimitar Berbatov to Manchester United. This deal was not completed until the final day of the summer transfer window for a fee in excess of £30 million. Another transfer that springs to mind is the sale of Luka Modric to, ironically, Real Madrid for a fee of approximately £35million. However, this time it is different. Yes, it is the same two clubs involved in Spurs and Madrid, but by no means the same player and certainly not a similar figure. The player? Gareth Bale. The fee? Who knows?
It has been reported that Levy has turned down an offer of around £85million for his star man, a ‘would be’ world record transfer fee, eclipsing the £80m Madrid paid for Cristiano Ronaldo. My view is that Florentino Perez is not happy with Barcelona winning the battle for Brazilian superstar Neymar and will do or pay anything to match them this summer. The Galactico image held by Perez in his first tenure as Madrid President was a result of record-breaking transfers such as Luis Figo from Barcelona and Zinedine Zidane from Juventus. Neymar’s snubbing of Real to join rivals Barca, I believe, gave Perez a kick up the backside and forced him to pull out all the stops to sign another superstar. Bale fits the bill perfectly. He is still young and is still going to improve, perhaps, to greater levels than Neymar and lead Madrid back to the top of world football. Ask Florentino Perez if that would be worth £85m+, and I reckon you would get a yes.
Let’s not forget this is a boy who turned down Manchester United when he left Southampton and moved to Tottenham Hotspur as a full-back. His time at Spurs couldn’t really have got off to a worse start, with the astounding statistic that he didn’t get his first win in a Spurs shirt until 2009, after signing in May 2007 (24 games).
Perhaps the turning point for Bale in most people’s eyes was that famous night in the San Siro when he stole the show in a losing Spurs team with a second half hat-trick. Tearing apart an Italian defence is not something anyone can do; he was clearly a special player and had now announced himself on the European stage. Ironically, this could have been the start of the end of his Spurs career as a result.
Since that night Bale has gone from strength to strength and destroyed all defences put in front of him, just ask Rio Ferdinand after last season’s home defeat to Spurs. Beating the likes of Luis Suarez and Robin van Persie to individual honours last season proves how good he was. However, Tottenham’s failure to qualify for the Champions League this year means Bale has a tough decision to make, the toughest of his career. Does he give Spurs one more year to try and make the top four? Or does he make the ‘dream move’ to Madrid? Remember, staying at Tottenham and picking up an injury this season could make this a once in a lifetime chance.
Personally, I could not turn down the chance to play for Real Madrid with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, for the simple reason that these opportunities don’t come around very often. I do not believe he would benefit from another year at Tottenham and needs to be playing at the top table in Europe. Also, I am in no doubt that Madrid will do whatever it takes to get their man, as they usually do. The ball will soon be in Bale’s court, and his silence on the situation will have to be broken soon enough. What will his decision be?