COMMENTARY | A source known for routinely stirring the pot in favor of Real Madrid is now claiming that Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale won't be making any move this summer.
Ulises Sánchez-Flor of Marca, a newspaper that has strong ties to the Spanish giants, is reporting that Bale will remain at Tottenham for at least one more season. That story claims that Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez is accepting that Bale is not going to force an immediate exit from White Hart Lane, and also that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has zero interest in lowering his asking price for the Welsh Wonder. It's been rumored that Spurs had wanted in the range of £85m for their biggest star, but the Marca report hints of an asking price of £100m.
Metro had reported that Bale would not be following the steps of former Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric, who last summer made it clear that he no longer wanted to play for Spurs and ultimately ended up at the Bernabeu, instead choosing to wait and see which, if any, official offers came in. Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has insisted since even before the end of the 2012-13 campaign that Bale wouldn't be going anywhere even if Spurs failed to earn Champions League, which is exactly what happened. It now appears that Levy is echoing his manager's claims by pricing out one of the biggest clubs in the world.
What's interesting about today's developments is that Marca, a publication once accused by legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson as being "a vehicle to unsettle players (to get them to go to Real Madrid)," has come out and essentially put an end to the Bale transfer saga of this summer, doing Spurs a favor in the process. Nobody in Spain benefits even a little bit from this story. Painting Levy as a hard negotiator who refuses to back down does Tottenham no harm. That fact is hardly news for those in world football.
Bale has on numerous occasions publicly spoken about how much he enjoyed playing under AVB during the first year of the Villas-Boas era at Spurs. While his desire to play Champions League football hasn't disappeared, Bale is still only 23-years old. He's going to have plenty of opportunities to play in the biggest yearly event in club football down the road.
The likely end to this story, if the July 3 Marca report is accurate, is that Bale will sign a new contract upon returning to Tottenham at some point within the next week for preseason activities. He put pen to paper last summer on an extension that would, in theory, keep him at the Lane up through the 2015-16 season. Any new deal would merely mean a pay raise for the man who swept Player of the Year honors this past spring.
Everything is comin' up Tottenham as the first weekend of July approaches. The week began when Brazilian midfielder Paulinho announced that he would be making a £17m move to Spurs. Real Madrid putting off their pursuit of Bale for another year means that Tottenham will have the man who is currently their best player in the team as they attempt to return to Champions League. Rumors continue to swirl that David Villa could join Spurs soon, perhaps even before the end of the week.
AVB's squad, assuming all deals are done and dusted by mid-August, could include the following: Hugo Lloris (one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League), Jan Vertonghen as the cornerstone of the Tottenham back line, a midfield trio of Paulinho, Sandro and Mousa Dembele, and an attack that features Bale, Villa and Aaron Lennon.
Not too shabby.
Zac has been covering Tottenham Hotspur, USMNT, Holland, New York Red Bulls, Major League Soccer and other soccer leagues for Yahoo! Sports since 2010.
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- Real Madrid
- Gareth Bale