Rumors of Gareth Bale's impending exit from Tottenham Hotspur continue to dominate gossip pages almost a month after he was supposedly set to sign a new contract at White Hart Lane. While Real Madrid still appear to be the primary option, French champions Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly entered the picture with what could be an intriguing offer.
In fact, if the story is true, Bale would be wise to at least consider PSG for his next home.
Mirror Football's Neil McLeman reports:
PSG have offered to buy Gareth Bale in a bid to lure Andre Villas-Boas to the French capital.
The Tottenham manager turned down a first approach from the Qatari-owned club to move to Paris next season.
But PSG have now returned determined to land the 35-year-old Portuguese - and have discussed a world record £85m bid for Bale as part of the negotiations.
Villas-Boas, 35, took over as Tottenham's manager last summer and in his first season led Spurs to their best points total of the Premier League era. According to Mirror Football's report, he is a candidate to replace Carlo Ancelotti as PSG's manager, with Ancelotti set to replace Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.
But Villas-Boas turned down PSG's first approach, according to the report—that's where Bale apparently enters the picture.
Bale, 23, scored 21 Premier League goals last season, earning PFA and FWA Player of the Year honors. His breakout season sparked several stories about a transfer to Real Madrid, with Zinedine Zidane himself reportedly taking a personal interest in the Welsh midfielder's future, according to Sky Sports.
The Real Madrid option is, of course, an eye-catcher. Despite a difficult season that saw Mourinho part ways with the club, Real rank among the richest, most famous clubs in the world.
With that said, the club is in transition following the departure of Mourinho, and Barcelona should be the favorites again in La Liga next season after signing Brazilian starlet Neymar from Santos.
PSG, meanwhile, would offer Champions League football next season—a crucial item on Bale's wishlist, according to Joe Bernstein of the Daily Mail—along with further benefits.
Backed by Qatari money, PSG would have no trouble meeting or exceeding the £130,000-per-week wages Tottenham are offering Bale, according to Simon Johnson and Tom Collomosse of the London Evening Standard (a report from Dominic Fifield of The Guardian lists the figure at £150,000 per week).
Then there's the potential for a reunion with AVB.
Villas-Boas and Bale have worked together for just one season, but that one season was the best of Bale's career to date. Near the end of the campaign, Villas-Boas revealed a conversation with Bale that apparently became an important moment in the Welshman's budding career.
Per Paul Hirst of the Independent:
Speaking on stage at the Lancaster London hotel (in May), Villas-Boas said: "I had Gareth knocking on my door once, not crying, but he was complaining a little bit. He said he wanted me to help him to enjoy his football a little more.
"We had a good conversation. Hopefully it turned out well for both of us. From that moment onwards his drive, his passion and his ambition towards the height of elite football has been immense and it shows through the great season he has had."
Where should Gareth Bale play next season?
The two could work together again next season if both stay in North London. Or, if the rumor is right, they could both move on and start again in Paris. The differences would be significant, especially for Bale: a new country, a new league and a new language. But it would also mean Champions League football, probably more money and even more of those conversations with AVB.
Considering the way last season went, Bale would be wise to remain with Villas-Boas for another year at least. With Champions League football reportedly on offer for both, both would be wise to at least consider a change in scenery.