Continual speculation about the future of Gareth Bale seems to be a feature of any transfer window for Tottenham Hotspur. It is perhaps unsurprising that a man of his quality has so many potential suitors, but is it time that the Premier League club provided some kind of confirmation on the stars future?
Reports from Spanish paper Marca this week went so far as to suggest that the Welsh winger had already agreed a deal in principle to sign for Real Madrid. Regardless of whether these stories are credible, they cannot help but aid in unsettling both player and squad. Clearly Spurs need to take a decisive stance and end the saga.
Gareth Bale enjoyed a brilliant season last year, capped off by winning both the Football Writers and PFA player of the season awards. His 26 goals under new man Andre Villas-Boas are a testament to the partnership the two of them have struck up so rapidly. He has received global acclaim for his performances last season, which have seen him become Tottenham’s most prized asset. Reports place his value at anything between £50-£100m, making him potentially a world record purchase.
It seems bizarre that a club, who are in an apparent partnership with Spurs, seem so eager to publicly tap up the Welshman. Florentino Perez announced to Marca that:
‘Bale was born to play for Real Madrid’
This was followed by further comments made by club ambassador, Zinedine Zidane, who put further pressure on the Welshman:
‘If Gareth feels now is the time to move then he has to have a private discussion with his club and express that he wants to leave.’
It is hardly surprising that the papers are full of continued rumours about Bale, when those in power at Madrid are all too happy to pass comment about a player contracted to another club.
Spurs have gone some way to dispel fears that their star man may leave. Andre Villas-Boas has reiterated the stance that Bale will remain a Spurs player next year. Speaking on Spurs’ pre season tour to Asia he made the following comments:
‘He’s a player that we are willing to continue to have, he’s a Tottenham player, he’s one of the most fantastic players in the world and we are counting on him for the future.’
Unfortunately Spurs fans know all to well that the decision on Bale’s future more than likely rests at the feet of club chairman, Daniel Levy. If Levy were to make a public hands off warning to other clubs regarding Bale I am sure much of the speculation regarding Bale would end for the time being. Similarly if the player genuinely wants to stay at Spurs why not sign a new contract or make public his desire to continue in North London? As it stands the situation not only adversely affects Bale’s immediate future but that of the club in general.
What I find most concerning is the fact that in Daniel Levy, Spurs posses possibly the shrewdest of Chairmen in the country. A man unlikely to take tapping up lightly (as was the case with the Berbatov saga) it seems extraordinary that he is all too happy to allow Real Madrid to get away with it. In regards to the Modric saga, Levy came out ahead of the 2011/2012 season to state that the player would not be for the sale at any price, and further to that he spent the season as a Spurs player.
The silence over Bale is a bit of an oddity personally. Couple that with Spurs’ sudden ability to bid for players in the region of £20m and you arrive at the sickening possibility that there may be something to the stories. If Levy could sell Bale to a club outside of England for a world record fee would this represent good business for the club? Whilst he is the best player in decades for the club, he is unlikely to ever command more of a value than he does now. Further to that, the figures being touted would go a long way to fund either a new stadium or new player recruitment. Is Levy about to take a pragmatic decision here much to the displeasure of Spurs fans?
Personally I have faith that whatever decision is taken it will be for the betterment of the club in general. Levy is a pragmatist and rarely gets tied up in the same emotions that fans do. However, the current situation represents something of a PR disaster, as the club have begun to appear weak on the world footballing stage. Surely a decision one way or another would allow Spurs to move on as a club, rather than be constantly subjected to a perpetual cycle of rumour regarding the winger.
Levy is far from being an idiot, and for that reason I can only assume a lot is going on behind the scenes that the press can only dream of knowing. A summer of indecision can only be harmful for Spurs.
Isn’t it about time Levy made a decision on Bale one way or the other?