Alright, we can all back away from the ledge now. Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has claimed that the Catalan club would be priced out of any move for Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale if the club actually admitted any interest in the winger. Rosell said, in part:
"I do not know if Bale interests us. If I did, I would not say, because his price would go up. [Tottenham] would not ask for €40 million [£33.2m], but €50m [£42.8m]. In any case, even if we wanted him, we would never pay €40m for him.
So, there you have it. Barca may or may not be interested in Bale. Even if they were interested, which is not what they're saying, they either could not or would not meet Tottenham's assumed asking price. That may (or may not) be a relief to some Spurs fans.
One thing Rosell is correct about is that that an overt display of interest from on of Europe's "giants", Barca or Real Madrid, the Milan clubs, Bayern Munich, or one of the elite English clubs, would certainly drive Bale's price through the roof. Daniel Levy is a tough negotiator (or just isn't in negotiating over his top players), as proved by the Luka Modric saga, so definitive interest would give him a bargaining chip in any negotiations.