A rolled ankle could cost rising superstar Gareth Bale a $100 million dream move from Tottenham to Real Madrid.
Bale, whose spectacular performances this season led to him being handed the Professional Footballers Association’s player of the year award, had been targeted by the giant Spanish club as a key part of its rebuilding process.
The transfer fee between Madrid and Spurs would likely have reached $70 million, with his salary over five years topping $30 million. However, after Bale suffered ankle damage in last weekend’s draw against Blackpool, Real is likely to turn its attention – and spend its money – elsewhere. The extent of the injury isn’t clear and Tottenham fears ligament damage.
“Bale is very exciting, and despite what was said publicly, there was very strong interest,” a Real source told Yahoo! Sports. “We hoped we could get him early in the transfer window before anyone else got involved. Now it probably won’t happen.”
Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp admitted Bale is almost certain to miss the team’s remaining two EPL games and he is scheduled to receive treatment over the summer. It is still not known whether he will be able to play a full part in preseason training.
Bale was phenomenal in this season’s Champions League, particularly impressing against Inter Milan in the group stage and AC Milan in the round of 16 as Tottenham powered through to the quarterfinal before losing twice to Real, 4-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu and 1-0 at White Hart Lane.
The 21-year-old Welshman signed a new 4½-year contract in March but has admitted he would consider moving overseas. Tottenham would have found it nearly impossible to turn down such a huge sum from Madrid.
Tottenham’s season looked so promising in the early stages that Redknapp even floated the possibility of his side winning the EPL before things took a turn for the worse in 2011.
Tuesday’s night defeat at Manchester City ended any hope of a Champions League place, and the North London side will now probably also miss out on a Europa League spot to a resurgent Liverpool.
The only goal for City came when Tottenham striker Peter Crouch accidentally deflected the ball into his own net in the first half, and the hosts held on after the break to book their own Champions League spot for next season.
Tottenham did not have its usual spark without Bale making his marauding runs down the left flank. At least though, it will have him back next season, even if it is missing out on an enormous transfer fee.