Manchester United are making a massive £60million bid for Gareth Bale.
Premier League champions United want Tottenham star Bale to be the first major signing of new manager David Moyes' reign.
The move for the Welshman is thought to be one of the reasons why United's vice chairman Ed Woodward is returning early from their pre-season tour of the Far East and Australia.
Spurs are desperate not to lose Bale, last year’s Footballer of the Year, and have so far resisted United’s approach.
The first issue is Spurs are not in a position where they need to sell Bale.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has been very shrewd when it comes to the transfer market. He drives a hard bargain when it comes to selling his biggest players. It's the biggest reason former Spurs manager Harry Redknapp didn't drive the club into insolvency when he left. Spurs are very fiscally responsible, making sure not to spend too much on new players while squeezing every dime out of player sales.
United should have plenty of experience with Levy, having had to work very hard to sign Dimitar Berbatov back in 2008. Then a couple of seasons later, Levy wasn't afraid to keep Luka Modric despite a lot of interest from Premier League clubs. Modric had wanted out for a while, but Levy had no problem telling the player he wasn't going anywhere until the club was ready to sell. Spurs held out until Real Madrid met Spurs' valuation of the player.
There's nothing stopping Levy from doing the same with Bale. The player has a long-term contract at Tottenham Hotspur, and his value is only going to get higher. There's no reason for the club not to try and maximize its profits from the sale of Bale.
The chances of Spurs selling him this summer are slim to none. Any inquiries United make as to Bale's availability are going to be rebuffed. There's no sense in continuing to pursue a player you have almost no chance of buying.
While Levy will stand firm regarding Bale staying at White Hart Lane, he's not stupid. If the right bid comes along, he knows it makes financial sense to sell Bale. It's unlikely £60 million is going to be that magic number, though. That begs the question of what would be the amount that would give Levy no choice but to sell.
£70 million? £80 million? £90 million? Once you hit those figures, you start entering into a comical price range.
Will Spurs sell Gareth Bale this summer?
Bale is no doubt a talented player. There's no reason you should be paying £80-90 million for him at this point, though. Cristiano Ronaldo went for £80 million back in 2009, but he was much more decorated at the club level by that point. He had helped Manchester United win the Premier League and Champions League in 2008-09. Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year in 2008.
Playing for Tottenham means Bale doesn't have much chance to win league titles, and without him, it's hard to see where Spurs would have finished in the table. Still, though, Bale has not yet reached the point Ronaldo did in his final season at Old Trafford.
It's not as if he wouldn't be a great addition for the Red Devils. The Goal Blog's Graham Ruthven put it best.
Keep hearing 'United don't need a Ronaldo or Bale.' Well, the thing is they actually do. United need a winger as well as a CM.— Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven) July 18, 2013
Aside from Wilfried Zaha—who's yet to play in the Premier League—United have a bunch of wingers who were very ineffective last year. Antonio Valencia, Nani and Ashley Young all fell off last year from where they were in 2011/12. They weren't scoring, nor were they providing much service for their strikers.
Winger is an area of concern for David Moyes. However, he should focus on a target who's much more realistic and will also leave enough money in the budget to sign that all-important central midfielder.
By going all out for Bale, United are ensuring they lose out on yet another big-name player, which won't make the supporters happy after seeing the likes of Modric, Wesley Sneijder, Eden Hazard, Lucas Moura and Thiago Alcantara all slip through the club's grasp.