Following a meteoric rise over the last year that has seen him become one of the more coveted players by all of the biggest clubs in the world, Gareth Bale has committed himself to Tottenham Hotspur through 2015 with a new four-and-a-half year deal that will reportedly pay him £68,000 per week. The deal is unlikely to halt the speculation over which big club will buy the 21-year-old from Spurs, but at the very least it will insure that Tottenham get a big sum of money from any transfer.
Even so, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp insists that Bale is not for sale and instead a key member of the team he is building for sustained success.
"It's great to have Gareth sign a new contract at the club," Redknapp said. "He is a fantastic player and the type of player we need to be keeping at Spurs."
"Gareth is now one of the top left-sided players in the world. He really is an amazing talent and can only get better. He is a smashing lad as well, which is equally important."
After being bought by Tottenham Hotspur from Southampton in 2007, Bale struggled to establish himself in the Spurs team. Used mostly as a left-back, Bale had issues defending and couldn't get forward as often as he liked. Adding to the Welshman's issues were some injury problems and a perceived curse because of Tottenham's inability to win in league with him in the team, but that changed in early 2010.
It was rumored that Bale would go out on loan in January of 2010, but injuries forced Spurs to keep him and play him. Bale took advantage of the opportunity and playing predominantly in the midfield, the Welshman shined. A slew of scintillating performances helped land Spurs in the Champions League and incredible play in Champions League matches against Inter Milan lit Europe afire. Not long after the slobbering of the world's media began, Bale was linked to moves to Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Inter Milan.
"We have got a great squad that is still young and we are going places," Bale said. "It is great to commit to this club and hopefully we can achieve what we believe we can with this squad. The players want what the fans want, and performing in front of these fans is a special experience."
"I definitely believe we can challenge for a title very soon. That is why I have signed. Every year as a minimum we are aiming to qualify for the Champions League so we are definitely going in the right direction.
"We have proven in the Champions League this season that we can compete with the best and we are in the last eight now and there is no reason we can't go further this season and in years to come."