Gareth Bale Must Be Kept by Spurs Despite Strong Offers
Yet despite that—and the fact that he signed a four-year deal with the club last summer—the Welsh winger is being touted as a genuine departure from the North London club this summer, with a plethora of clubs believed to be gunning for the star.
The likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid are both thought to be interested (per the Daily Mirror) in signing the winger, who would likely attract a transfer figure in the vicinity of £60 million or more. Clubs like Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are also touted as potential players (per the Daily Mirror) in a Bale bidding war, if one started at some point this summer.
And given the performances of Bale this season—which culminated in him winning the PFA Player of the Year Award—it's easy to understand the strong interest.
Tottenham fans will know this only too well, with the winger crucial in their success this season. Since January 1, Spurs have not won a game without Bale scoring and know that, without him, they would be nowhere in their hunt for a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.
Gareth Bale has won 26 points for Sp*rs this season. Without him, they'd be on 39 points - the same amount as Southampton.— Llew Davies (@LlewAFC) May 6, 2013
Thus the natural response is to shrug off transfer rumors, knowing that Spurs don't want to sell the star and knowing how much money he would command in the market.
However, it's important to note here that these transfer rumors aren't just the kind to shrug off. Spurs don't want to sell their star, no doubt, but turning down a figure of £70 or £80 million wouldn't be easy for a player they signed for just £5 million back in 2007.
And just because that is an awful lot of money for one player, don't for a minute think that the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid can't (and won't) offer that much to try and sign Bale at some point this summer.
The rumors—as wild as they might be—have some merit behind them and Spurs fans must take them as seriously as any other player named in the rumor mill.
United sold Cristiano Ronaldo at what many believed was his peak when a massive offer came along from Real Madrid. Newcastle did it with Andy Carroll. Liverpool did the same with Fernando Torres when a strong bid came along. Arsenal too have sold many good players at good points in their career.
Just because Bale is in strong form and seems like a safe prospect this summer, don't rule out Tottenham giving serious thought to a strong transfer fee.
They shouldn't, and chairman Dan Levy would be out of his mind to sell Bale for anything less than £100 million this summer, but it is a possibility. No club is immune to stars leaving over the transfer window despite a brand new contract in the books—especially not when the big-money teams are lurking.
Bale is fundamental to Spurs' success, and without him, they'd be nowhere near where they are now. But the same was said about Luka Modric last year too.
And look how that one turned out.
Manager Andre Villas-Boas commented on the situation last week (via the Daily Mirror):
The information that I have from the club, which was mistakenly written about last week, is that the player is here to remain, independent of the objectives of Champions League qualification being achieved or not.
I would be extremely surprised (if he left). In football anything can happen. It's impossible to predict, but this is the assurance I have had from the club. We understand that the more awards the more recognition the player will have, the more media attention, but the club has to move forward by holding onto its best players.
With the recognition and the further experience that he has had from this year, next year for Tottenham he will be even more assertive.
For Tottenham, it's great news—as long as it stays that way this summer.
At just 23 years old, Bale has the potential to play the next decade of his career at White Hart Lane and have success similar to what he saw this season. He could well be the man to make Tottenham Hotspur a competitive force in the UEFA Champions League's not-too-distant future.
For Spurs to pass up those hopes now—for any transfer fee—they'd be insane.
They have the perfect system (and manager) to ensure long-term success for the Welsh winger, and no amount of transfer money or players will ever replace the potential that Bale and the Londoners have right now.
The rumors are serious, so Tottenham's resolve must be as well.
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