There isn't a player more important to Tottenham's future than Gareth Bale. And that's why Spurs must do what it takes to keep the player in North London, even if it means passing up obscene amounts of money.
And it sounds like Tottenham has decided it will take quite a bit of coin to convince the team to ever let go of the Bale.
Tottenham have told Real Madrid they will need shell out £55 million if they want to land Gareth Bale, according to reports.
Real boss Jose Mouriniho is a big admirer of the Spurs winger and is weighing up a £35m move for the Welshman, according to the Sunday Express.
That would equal the £35m that Liverpool paid Newcastle for Andy Carroll in January 2011, which is currently a British transfer record.
Do I think Tottenham will actually get £55 million for Bale?
No, probably not.
Do I think this shows the squad's commitment to keeping Bale in North London—most importantly, to Bale himself should the Welshman be pining for a move to Madrid—by resisting the overtures of big money?
Of course. Then again, I also think this sets up a £45 million move in the summer if Real Madrid is prepared to pony up that cash, Bale is eager to test his mettle for the La Liga giants and Tottenham finally decides the money is simply too good to pass up.
At some point, it seems likely Bale will depart. A natural winger, Bale's pace and poise on the ball is impressive enough, but he is also a natural goal scorer, having found the back of the net 11 times in 25 appearances of Spurs this season.
But should Spurs qualify for Champions League football after this season—a very real possibility, as the team currently sits fourth on the table—it will be that much easier to keep Bale around.
Which means, beyond setting an unreasonably high price for Bale this summer, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy should also consider opening up the purse strings and adding one more high-profile player to this club in January.
Gareth Bale will play for __________ next season.
The end goal for Spurs should be to qualify for Champions League football, both because that should always be the goal and because it could be what it takes to keep the team's top player around. It will be much easier to convince Bale to spurn Real Madrid if he gets the chance to play in Europe's top tournament.
One last thing: Levy should remind Bale who plays the left wing for Real Madrid. Unless the Spanish side gets rid of Cristiano Ronaldo—or Bale is willing to consistently make the switch to the right side—the Welshman will find himself playing second fiddle behind Ronaldo.
It's one more thing Spurs can use to keep Bale around.
At this point, the team needs to pull out all of the stops. When Real Madrid comes calling for your best player, you do what it takes to fend off the courtship.