No player is bigger than their club—not even Gareth Bale.
If any player is, then it might very well be Bale, who played like Superman last season. The Tottenham star scored 21 goals and created 75 chances in 33 EPL appearances, won the Players' Player of the Year and football writers' Footballer of the Year awards, and carried Spurs to fifth place in the EPL.
Oh, and he's just 24 years old.
Selling world-class players who still may not have hit their prime does not always make sense, but if the rumors are true, then Bale is simply giving Tottenham very little choice.
The Mirror's John Cross has the most recent development in the ongoing transfer saga:
Gareth Bale is giving Tottenham the silent treatment to force a move to Real Madrid.
Andre Villas-Boas has revealed Bale is not even discussing his future with his Tottenham team-mates as the club are increasingly resigned to selling him.
Spurs boss Villas-Boas said: "His mental state nobody knows, because the player doesn’t speak. The only thing that we are able to see is the player arriving in and out of the training ground. It’s fine."
It's important to take all of these rumors with a grain of salt, but if they are indeed true—if Bale wants out, if he's sulking during training, if he's not being an ideal teammate—new manager Andre Villas-Boas has to get rid of him.
Bale is an unbelievable talent, but if he doesn't want to be there, he will end up being more detrimental to the team than he is worth.
Considering his playing worth to Spurs, it's difficult to imagine the club selling him after such a transcendent season. But football is a business, and when you have an unhappy player who, according to Cross, can bring a transfer-record £80 million and left back Fabio Coentrao in return from Real Madrid, you have to pull the trigger.
Tottenham can survive without Bale.
They've added an impressive array of talent this summer in Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Nacer Chadli and now Etienne Capoue to a returning corps that includes Kyle Walker, Mousa Dembele, Jan Vertonghen and Aaron Lennon.
The North London side has talent, versatility and depth.
Villas-Boas clearly has his team moving in the right direction, and he has high expectations to match, as he was quoted saying by The Mirror's John Cross:
If we manage to complete all the things we have in mind – our objective is to get into the Champions League and to establish ourselves in the top four.
Regarding the league, we won’t change our ambitions and our speech. But if we can make all of the deals that we have planned for the remaining weeks, hopefully we can threaten, not in the league but in the other trophies.
Considering Tottenham's talented squad and what they could get in a potential Bale sale, those aims are still completely obtainable without their superstar.
Sure, it would be a lot easier with Bale, but it would also be much more difficult with an unhappy Bale.