As Tottenham makes a push for their best Premier League finish in squad history, they are left facing a conundrum with the transfer window fast approaching.
Twenty-two-year-old budding star Gareth Bale is proving his worth as a top player in the world, so it's not surprising that his likes are being pursued by that of Barcelona.
Bale is one of the most coveted players on watch for the upcoming July 1 transfer window, but Tottenham would take a huge step backward in their quest for greatness if they lose their second leading scorer and assister, as well as the undisputed future star of the squad.
The Spurs are headed in the right direction, but they need some fortunate bounces and bold personnel moves to get their first Premier League title and keep Bale.
Tottenham seem like they're smooth sailing this year to their highest finish in Premier League history, and only their second finish in the Top 4.
Right now they have a comfortable third-place positioning and don't seem likely to budge in either direction, with Manchester City and Manchester United way out in front of the league and Arsenal a full 10 points behind.
The only reason Bale wouldn't leave for arguably the best club team in the world in Barcelona is if he were on a squad that could be threats, if not favorites, for the EPL title every year.
At just 26 years old, Luka Modric is the hub of Tottenham's team at midfield, but he is also getting wowed by transfer rumors linked to Chelsea. Not only that, he's admitted the real possibility of such a move.
Modric and Bale have developed some of the EPL's best chemistry in their time together at Tottenham, but seeing his partner in crime leave for crosstown rival Chelsea would all but seal Bale's fate.
Emmanuel Adebayor is a good fit to Hotspur's system and is playing in top form, but he's still on loan with Real Madrid and is unlikely to have a future in London.
With that said, both Carlos Tevez and Gonzalo Higuain are on the market and could bolster their striker position to impress Bale.
Tevez is arguably a top striker in the world, but Tottenham isn't among the many teams courting the superstar. Higauin seems like he could fit in the system similar to Adebayor, and Real Madrid is obviously looking to move the Argentinian.
As Tottenham continues to head in the direction toward Premier League greatness, it's becoming more and more evident that widely respected manager Harry Redknapp will bolt for the England national team at season's end.
He's previously implied that he'd take the job if he were offered, and it'd be hard even for Tottenham fans to blame him. But it would be a blow to their progress and would be tough for a 22-year-old like Bale to stomach the tough transition knowing he could get out of the situation altogether.
Tottenham would be happy to finish in third place, but they're still in striking distance and could threaten to win their first title if they scorched their remaining stretch.
They travel to face Arsenal on February 26 and turn around to play a home match on March 4 against Manchester United, whom they trail in the standings by just five points. On March 24 they play in the London derby against Chelsea.
These three are undoubtedly their toughest of the 13 remaining games, and if they swept all three of them it would continue to prove Tottenham's standing among England's elite.
Bale would be able to win plenty at Barcelona, but would most likely come off the bench and not play nearly as significant of a role as he would in north London. If they continue to prove themselves competent down the stretch, it'd have to impress him greatly.
With Rafael Van der Vaart and Emmanuel Adebayor continuing to show promise in North London, it shows one team's trash is another's treasure.
Both players were deemed not good enough for Real Madrid's squad but are playing great for Tottenham. Already chemistry-ridden Bale and Modric seem to fit well with the two, and if they continue to gel and play at a high level, then I don't see Bale "bailing" for the aforementioned Spanish team.