Gareth Bale’s days at White Hart Lane may be numbered, and it seems he’s doing nearly everything in his power to see that he won’t be playing for Tottenham next term.
Gareth Bale's representatives hope to meet Daniel Levy this week to impress on the Tottenham Hotspur chairman their client's desire to move to Real Madrid this summer, with the standoff between player and club threatening to turn acrimonious.
Bale’s summer saga has included numerous rumours of his potential move from White Hart Lane and a longstanding Spurs attempt to lock up the explosive scorer to a new contract, per The Telegraph.
Bale is certainly worth a new contract, but Tottenham aren't his best long-term choice.
Last term, the winger accounted for 21 goals during the EPL slate—just two goals short of the 23 combined scoring strikes Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor accounted for in that span.
Spurs obviously don’t want to lose that production, but they haven’t exactly done enough to warrant serious consideration from Bale for a long-term extension.
If the 24-year-old hopes to play meaningful football outside the league slate, he’ll have plenty of better options to do so. Despite his best efforts to keep the club afloat, Tottenham finished last term just outside the top four with 72 points—one point shy of fourth place Arsenal.
That Spurs haven’t provided him with enough support to make a push for a trophy is enough reason for Bale to pressure the club into a move. But his strongest case may be that Bale believed he had a “gentleman’s agreement” with the club to let him walk should a club offer at least $123 million (£80.1 million) for his services, per Gabriele Marcotti of ESPN:
Real Madrid supposedly making a $125 million bid ($130 million, according to some) for Gareth Bale. Tottenham saying they haven't received an "official" bid but making it clear they are not considering a sale. Gareth Bale's camp making it known he is a bit miffed because he thought there was a "gentleman's agreement" in place whereby he could consider a move if the bidding hit a certain number ($123 million). And, according to some outlets, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is ready to fly home from his vacation to personally deal with Bale.
As Marcotti noted, the agreement in question isn’t an official contract clause and the situation isn’t exactly cut-and-dry.
At what price should Tottenham consider parting ways with Bale?
If Bale was promised the opportunity to explore his options following a massive bid from a suitor like Real Madrid, Tottenham should be prepared to let him get his feet wet on the transfer market. Official or not, the winger shouldn’t be expected to continue playing for a club he feels is mistreating him and ignoring his best interests.
Spurs don’t want to let a world-class player like Bale depart this summer, but the situation is growing more unstable by the minute. The longer Tottenham wait to give Bale the option to explore other situations, the closer he gets to handing in a transfer request.
For Bale, brandishing a transfer request would likely be the final chapter of his story at White Hart Lane. He doesn’t want to burn bridges, but he’s right to pressure Spurs to keep their word and allow him to potentially make a move to Real Madrid.
Los Blancos can offer Bale everything he hasn’t had at Tottenham—namely, tremendous success at the league level and the opportunity to compete for numerous trophies next season. Unless Spurs are willing to make a greater push for additional talent this summer, they simply can’t match that clout.
Time will tell how the saga will end, but Bale seems to be headed for the exit door. If Spurs failed to hold up to their end of the bargain, he’s making the right decision.