Gareth Bale: Weighing Up Whether He'll Stay at Spurs or Leave This Summer
With five matches left in their Premier League season, Tottenham and its supporters are quite rightly enveloped in the club's run-in and pursuit of the Premier League's top four.
However, another big storyline hangs over the club, looming over the whole stretch run.
That, of course, is the impending transfer saga surrounding Gareth Bale.
The Welsh wizard has been at the top of his form for the past few months, almost single-handedly carrying the Spurs through an incredible goal-scoring run.
While the allure of richer and more competitive clubs must flatter the winger, Tottenham have done a lot right in appealing to Gareth's desire to stay.
Manager Andre Villas-Boas has been very flexible with the 23-year-old, allowing him to shift positions and tailoring his squad selection accordingly.
As a result, Bale has seemed quite happy at White Hart Lane. However, with the state of modern football as it is, it is understandable that Gareth faces a tough dilemma: on the one hand, he can go with some obscene amounts of money and the promise of trophies. On the other, he can honor his loyalty to a familiar club that could be on the way up and has treated him right.
Even if Bale were to seek the exit, though, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will surely have a say in the Welshman's departure.
Levy has been a key figure at White Hart Lane over the past few years, negotiating the sales of many big players and garnering generally positive reviews from the Spurs faithful.
The chairman's handling of Luka Modric's transfer saga, where he held onto the Croatian for a year longer than expected and milked every penny out of him on his way to Real Madrid, shows just what Levy is capable of: standing up to the big boys while creating as positive a result for Spurs as possible.
However, Levy has also shown a penchant for selling even his best players once a high enough offer comes in. For evidence, one need look no further than the club's sale of Dimitar Berbatov to Manchester United in 2008.
Hence, if a ludicrous or astronomical offer comes in for Bale, Levy could just decide to sell Spurs' biggest threat and rebuild with the cash.
Should he want to stay at White Hart Lane, though, Tottenham would surely welcome Gareth back next season and continue to build around the 23-year-old during the club's recent renaissance.
So what should supporters expect this summer? Will Bale stay or go?
That question could just be answered over the Spurs' final five Premier League matches.
After all, should Tottenham fail to book their place in the top four, the desire for Champions League football could be enough to punch Bale's ticket out of northern London, while a strong finish capped by a Champions League berth might influence him to stay another year.
Thus, the future direction of a club may just ride on five matches and their outcomes.
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