It is the saga of the summer; will he stay or will he go? If he goes, will we see a world record broken? If he stays, can the big four’s grip on the Champions League spots be broken this season? These are the kind of questions that are no doubt swimming around the head of Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, as he considers whether to cash in on his star asset, Gareth Bale.
Real Madrid have made no secret of their desire to sign the Wales international but have been told they will have to stump up an eye-watering £87million plus at least one player in exchange for Bale.
The potential sale of Bale has seemingly split the White Hart Lane faithful, with some desperate to see him stay while others are ready to accept Real’s monstrous offer. The arguments for and against keeping Bale both have their merits, and Levy will no doubt be putting his shrewd business brain to work in trying to figure out what is best for Spurs.
The pros for selling Bale are fairly clear. While most of Europe, particularly Spain, is on its knees financially, Tottenham could be on the verge of receiving a massive cash windfall. Considering Spurs have spent an estimated £50million on three players in Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, and Nacer Chadli, £87million for one seems like a sound bit of business.
Some football betting pundits would argue that, without Bale, their aspirations of qualifying for the Champions League will have suffered a setback. However, considering how much they have spent on three quality players this summer, the transfer fee for Bale would surely give Andre Villas-Boas the funds to achieve a top four finish.
Spurs’ desire to secure a Real player as part of the deal is also a smart idea, although, so far, Villas-Boas’ targets, such as Angel Di Maria and Luka Modric, all appear reluctant to move. A deal involving young striker, Alvaro Morata, looks the most likely and that would not be a bad thing given how highly-rated the 20-year-old is.
Those against the sale of Bale would state that it is impossible to replace someone with the talent he possesses, with the player most similar to him in terms of his attributes being Cristiano Ronaldo. The 24-year-old is a match winner and they are hard to come by, as Arsenal found following Robin van Persie’s exit last season.
The risk of keeping a potentially unhappy player at the club who could unsettle the rest of the team is also a dilemma Villas-Boas and Levy will have to consider when they sit down for talks with Bale this week.
Perhaps the best situation for Tottenham and Levy will be to resist the temptation to cash in this summer and keep Bale for one more season in the hope the combination of him and Soldado will be enough to secure a top four finish.
If they can justify the latest betting odds and reach the promised land of the Champions League, then the chances of keeping Bale, as well as being able to add further quality to the squad, will increase ten-fold. If they don’t break into the top four then, barring injury, they will still have an £87million asset on the books. It is a win-win.
Thanks to our friend Chris Illingworth for organising this piece, with a lot of speculating going on it does help to lay the facts out on the table! As I’ve said at this stage, staying or going, you can’t start with him. In fact now AVB has ruled him out for GW1. A sign perhaps? We shall see.