A transfer involving Manchester United's Wayne Rooney plus cash for Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale would most definitely be the best deal of the summer and quite possibly the season—it might even prove to be the best solution for both players and clubs.
Rumors of Wayne Rooney's departure from Manchester United began before the final ball was kicked last season.
Who would benefit most from Rooney for Bale?
When Sir Alex Ferguson revealed the stunning news to BBC's Match of the Day, and the world in general, that the forward had "asked for a transfer," it looked like his days were numbered at Old Trafford—especially as he was left out of Ferguson's final two squads.
From this vantage point it would seem that the Red Devils may be sounding out some of Europe's top clubs with a view to selling their once star player.
While the rumor mill surrounds Rooney, it has also cast a net around Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale.
Real Madrid have long been admirers of the Welsh wonder and the Sun has recently linked them with a world record £85 million bid for the midfielder. John Cross, writing for the Mirror, then goes one step better and links United with a similar bid for Bale.
While all of this is going on, Arsene Wenger revealed an interest in Wayne Rooney to the Mirror. However, it was the Daily Star who linked the Gunners with a staggering £15 million bid for the player.
What all this adds up to is that no team has offered what Spurs and United consider as real valuations for their players.
The answer to both club's questions could be as simple as contacting each other.
Wayne Rooney's long-term future as a Manchester United player under Ferguson was undermined by the player's actions in October 2010 when he asked for a transfer in a bid to improve his contract.
Ferguson would have taken a dim view of his star player's stance. When Rooney was removed from penalty-taking duties in January of this year it was a sure sign that he was becoming more and more of a peripheral figure at Old Trafford.
Rooney, out of contract in 2015, was then unceremoniously dropped and snubbed by Ferguson by being left of the team to face Real Madrid in March.
With the relationship between player and manager appearing to be at its lowest ebb it was no surprise when Ferguson revealed the supposed transfer request.
Rooney, it would seem, was being maneuvered into a corner by the Scot. Perhaps this was to show the player he was no longer the lynchpin he once was. Perhaps it was an effort to make him see sense or perhaps it was an effort to make him leave.
Whichever way you look at it, the speculation surrounding the player would not be there without a breakdown of some sort.
Next season will be of massive importance to the England striker. The Three Lions will be playing in the World Cup next summer—if results go as expected—and Rooney will be central to all their efforts.
In short, he needs to play regularly.
He needs first-team football next term as badly as he needed it in 2010. If you think back to Manchester United's defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League semifinals in April 2010, it was here that communications between Ferguson and Rooney first broke down.
It was on April 7, 2010 that Ferguson wrecked Rooney's, United's and England's seasons by playing the unfit striker against Munich. Rooney, in the form of his life and challenging for the title of Europe's top striker, simply never recovered. United lost the title and England were a shambles in South Africa.
The all-important moment that everything fell apart for Rooney was being forced to play by Ferguson. Less than six months later, he was demanding a transfer.
Now the World Cup is around the corner again. Rooney will be more than eager to prove to the world, on the biggest stage of all, that he is a true star of the game.
Transfer away from Old Trafford may not be his only option, but if United offered him to Spurs for Bale it could be a deal that may suit all involved parties.
Rooney may not be all that comfortable with moving away from England. United would be loath to sell him to Arsenal as the transfer could potentially put them back into the title race as real challengers.
Spurs, on the other hand, are a club on the rise and are still a few players away from being considered as title challengers. They, simply, would not offer United the same problems that Arsenal could.
For Spurs, Rooney's acquisition would be a remarkable coup.
The White Hart Lane-based outfit struggled up front all season. Their strikers, Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor, struggled to find the back of the net, and after Christmas Andre Villas-Boas' team might as well as played without them.
It was only the remarkable form of the world-class talent that is Gareth Bale that enabled them to challenge for fourth until the final day of the season.
Bale, 24 in July, is at a vital stage in his development as a player. If he wishes to reach his potential he simply must leave Spurs this summer. There are too many intangibles to consider for him to stay there for one more season. For the sake of his career, and for his amazing talent, he owes it to himself to play at the highest level possible.
Unfortunately, that is not at Tottenham—and they know it.
The Welshman, rated by many as the third-best player in the world behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, is believed to be happy living in England and recently had a child with his childhood sweetheart. He may be reluctant to move abroad to the likes of Madrid or Paris where his every moment would be tracked.
Bale moving to Old Trafford therefore becomes an option. It would provide United the kind of creativity and penetration they sadly lacked from midfield last season. It would also be a ringing endorsement of their faith in David Moyes.
Moyes could, potentially, move one problem on and then replace him with an upcoming and undoubted star.
Spurs would also save face, despite losing their star player, by gaining a world-class talent.
The biggest stumbling block in the move would be selling the Tottenham Hotspur project to Rooney.
Would the 27-year-old be interested in dropping down from United to playing for Spurs? Daniel Levy and Villas-Boas would have a hard sell to make.
However, Spurs have just developed their training ground and it stands as one of the best facilities of its type in the world. They will also begin construction on a new 60,000 stadium at White Hart Lane within the next year.
Rooney may be tempted to move as he would undoubtedly be the focal point of the team in every way, shape and form.
Spurs could demand around £80 million for Bale. Rooney would be likely to cost around £20 million. That could leave Villas-Boas with potentially £100 million to spend on a team to overtake Arsenal.
For Rooney, he would be guaranteed first-team football with a side who have always played the game the right way. As far as his England career is concerned the move to Spurs may even elongate his time in an England jersey.
It would suit Roy Hodgson, it would suit Andre Villas-Boas, and it may even suit David Moyes.
It is a deal that could prove beneficial to all involved and would easily be the most important and most exciting of the summer transfer window.
Would Gareth Bale interest Manchester United? Would Spurs want Wayne Rooney?
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