On Tottenham's 'last ditch effort to keep Gareth Bale'

Matthew Horwood

Because this crap needs to stop.

I know that picking on The Mirror is kind of like taking lunch money from the smallest kid on the playground, but I'm going to do it anyway because I think they're a bad paper that makes football fans dumber. On Wednesday night, they published an article about Gareth Bale that's a lot like other articles in regards to medium-sized clubs trying to keep superstars from leaving for massive clubs, except it doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

'Tottenham aim to kill off Gareth Bale's transfer to Real Madrid in peace talks' is the title of this piece and it's all about how Spurs want to keep Bale happy and convince him that White Hart Lane, not the Bernabeu, is the place for him. Here's the real meat of the piece.

Now, in the latest twist in the saga, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is set to try to break the impasse in talks with his prize asset.

The White Hart Lane club's billionaire owner, Joe Lewis, has sanctioned a sum of £50m for new players this summer and is ready to continue spending big, even in the unlikely event that Bale does stay.

Roma have already been sounded out over free-scoring Argentine winger Erik Lamela, while Ajax's Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen - with only a year left on his contract - has indicated he is willing to move to north London. -Source, The Mirror

The idea here is that Spurs will spend big on new players and hope that Bale changes his mind in part -- though not exclusively -- because of the new talent. There's a lot wrong with both some specific language in The Mirror's piece and the general premise.

First, there's this:

Joe Lewis has sanctioned a sum of £50m for new players this summer

Tottenham have already spent somewhere between £50-60m, including the transfer of Etienne Capoue, depending on which outlets you trust, to bring in new players in this transfer window. Even taking into the account the sales of Steven Caulker and Tom Huddlestone, Spurs are right up against that rumored budget. If they buy another class player, they're going to be over that £50m. It's not like Spurs have another £50m to spend in the next two weeks.

Then there's the idea that Bale can be convinced to stay based on anything the club do or say between now and the transfer deadline. If he wants to go to Real Madrid despite what Tottenham Hotspur have already said to him or done in the transfer market this summer, that means he wants to go to Real Madrid. We've broken our club record transfer fee twice in this window to sign two experienced internationals who play positions other than Bale's and we reportedly offered him a huge raise. If those things didn't convince him to commit to another season at the club, Christian Eriksen and a pep talk from Daniel Levy sure as hell aren't going to do it.

We're done with any 'Madrid convincing Bale' or 'Spurs convincing Bale' stuff. That ship has sailed. Either Real Madrid comes up with enough money to buy him or they don't. If Madrid come up with the money, Bale is almost certainly going to opt to leave. If they don't come up with the money, he's probably going to play for Spurs like nothing ever happened as opposed to acting like an ass between September 2 and January 1.

That's it. I'm not sure what 'impasse in talks' there could possibly be that Levy has to 'break' with Bale. Perez has until September 2 to write a fat check, and if he fails to do so, Bale will suck it up and play for us.

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