COMMENTARY | No player in the world is priceless. None. Not Messi. Not Ronaldo. Certainly not Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale, who continues to be linked with Spanish giants Real Madrid.
There are understandably a variety of opinions regarding what Spurs should do with their top player. What's most frustrating for Tottenham supporters, other than the fact that they are going through yet another summer that could see a key man exit the club, is that we won't know for a long time if Spurs handled the Bale situation correctly.
Either way, Tottenham will be making a big gamble between now and the end of the current transfer window. A fee that is reportedly in the neighborhood of £80-85m equals what is, for lack of a better description, a ton of money. To put things in perspective, Tottenham could (on paper only) use those funds to buy both Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez, and then still have some left over to acquire a top-tier left back.
There are a plethora of reasons that could keep Spurs from cashing in on a Bale sale in such a dramatic manner one year from now. Perhaps Tottenham again fails to earn Champions League, and Bale subsequently hands in a transfer request. Maybe the Welsh wonder is unable to replicate his 2012-13 form for another season, and thus his fee takes a hit.
Don't forget about the very real possibility that is Bale not being the so-called "next one" in the list of the best players in the world. In such a scenario in which Spurs sell and Bale doesn't meet what will unquestionably be out-of-this-world expectations, Tottenham will make bank on what could be looked at as a true deal of the century. Some smart people in world football have even suggested that Spurs would be flirting with certain disaster by not selling Bale for such an astronomical fee.
Then come the aspects of the deal that leave Spurs supporters waking up in cold sweats. Regardless of what happens in the future, Tottenham would, if Bale goes this summer, undeniably be losing not just its star player but also a brand that was recently deemed significant enough to be featured in a Times Square billboard ad. You don't just replace that, especially when so many top names have already been swooped up by other clubs this month.
What's so unnerving about this whole ordeal is that there is legitimately only one thing that we will know for sure come September: What chairman Daniel Levy and company do with their sought-after star this summer will impact Tottenham for years, perhaps even for as long as a decade. Sell high and reinvest properly or build a UCL squad around Bale, and Levy will have set Spurs up to overtake Arsenal in the so-called "balance of power" struggle for north London supremacy. Choose incorrectly, however, and Levy may unintentionally begin the end of the Andre Villas-Boas era at Tottenham before it ever had a chance to really get going.
Whatever happens over the next six weeks, it seems inevitable that there will be subsets of Spurs supporters who are inevitably unhappy with whatever Levy decides. That's just how it works with this particular fan base. It would be revisionist history to suggest that the Tottenham chairman has gotten everything right over the past several years.
Spurs supporters everywhere would do well during yet another chaotic July to remember that old familiar mantra:
In Levy we trust.
For more: Bale billboard.
Zac has been covering the USMNT, Holland, Tottenham Hotspur, New York Red Bulls, Major League Soccer and other soccer leagues for Yahoo! Sports since 2010.
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