Gareth Bale: What Amount of Money Would Be a Reasonable Transfer Fee?

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 23, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 19:  Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland at White Hart Lane on May 19, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

The word "reason" is usually thrown directly out the window anytime a transfer window opens its doors.

Clubs usually overpay for players who have not proven themselves, and most of the time, they see their massive investment crumble under the pressure (see Fernando Torres).

One player who has been coveted by the two biggest clubs in the world this summer has proven himself. And depending on whom you ask and what you read, Gareth Bale is ready to take the next step in his meteoric rise to superstardom.

Whoever ends up capturing the signature of the prized Welsh winger, who currently proudly wears the white and blue of Tottenham Hotspur, will pay a massive transfer fee to the North London club for Bale's services.

So what should that lump sum of money be at the end of the day, when Bale eventually leaves the friendly confines of White Hart Lane?

If you are a member of the backroom staff at Manchester United, the price tag of the 24-year-old converted left-back is around £60 million.

Oliver Holt of The Daily Mirror reported last week that the Red Devils were preparing the massive bid for the Welsh star, who will surely surpass his fellow countryman Ryan Giggs in popularity in the small nation of Wales by the end of his career.

United's proposed number could be dwarfed by only one club: Real Madrid.

According to a recent report by Jack Wilson in the Daily Star, Real Madrid could have up to £85 million in their transfer kitty to spend on Bale alone after a series of deals are completed.

Los Blancos are known to spend quite a bit on big names. Just ask Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and plenty of others how their bank accounts looked after moving to the Bernabeu.

In terms of money to spend, Real Madrid have plenty more than Manchester United to spend on the Welsh marksman, who sent the English Premier League ablaze during the second half of last season.

But is £85 million or even £60 million a reasonable price to spend on one player?

In Bale's case, it very well could be. But spending that much money on one single player is a huge investment that could derail the spending of a big club for a few seasons if he does not live up to his potential.

Compared to the biggest transfer fees dealt out in the history of world football, Bale's deal will eventually end up in the top five, if not higher. The list is currently headed by Ronaldo's transfer from United to Real Madrid.

Bale has been compared to Ronaldo on numerous occasions, and with those comparisons alone, his transfer fee will be inflated.

The 24-year-old could very well outclass Ronaldo in the Real Madrid squad if he were to jettison over to Spain for the largest sum of money he has seen in his life.

However, £85 million is way too much for any player, unless he has consistently performed at the highest level of the game for at least four or five seasons.

The only two players in the world who could demand that much money at this point in their careers are Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

If Bale becomes the latest Galactico for that much money, Real Madrid will have overpaid for him.

Looking at Manchester United's proposed bid of £60 million, it seems much more reasonable.

If I were a high-ranking club executive (which will never happen because of my poor business acumen), I would value Bale in the £60 million range.

Bale has shown that he has the potential to play at the highest level in one of the most competitive leagues in the world.

We must remember that Bale singlehandedly brought Tottenham within one match of clinching a spot in this season's UEFA Champions League.

Speaking of Spurs, they must ensure that they get plenty out of their blossoming Ballon d'Or contender, because they will probably not see a talent like Bale come through their club in at least the next decade.

Regardless of how much they eventually earn from the Bale sale, Tottenham will be generating a massive profit.

In May of 2007, Tottenham purchased Bale from Southampton for £5 million, which is a large sum for an unproven 17-year-old left-back (via BBC Sport).

Luckily for everyone on the white half of North London, that funny looking left-back prospect has turned into the savior who could bring in two or three highly talented players who will advance Tottenham to new heights under the tutelage of manager Andre Villas-Boas.

So how large of a fee should Spurs be asking for their Welsh star?

That answer has to be anywhere between £50 and £60 million based on what we have seen from Bale so far during his career.

The magnificent fee rumored to be offered by Real Madrid is too much for Bale even based on the past standards of Los Blancos' transfer activity. But anything beneath £50 million is a fee that the Spurs board should laugh off.

How much money do you think is the right amount to purchase Gareth Bale?

Comment below or leave me a comment on Twitter, @JTansey90.


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