Gareth Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett, said some things publicly today about his superstar player that may or may not be important, but are most certainly interesting. As reported this morning in The Guardian and other English newspapers, Barnett, chairman of the Stellar Group which represents Bale along with several other high profile EPL players, appeared on Spanish television station MARCA TV and made two main points:
- Gareth Bale is "worth more than [recent Barcelona signing] Neymar," and that Bale would "listen" to interest Real Madrid if an offer came in
- Contrary to popular reports, Gareth Bale has NOT been offered a new contract from Tottenham Hotspur
Regarding the first point, there's two things to keep in mind here. First, we should not take an agent's word as gospel that a player is leaving or is interested in leaving, especially at this stage. Agents exist to get their clients the best possible deal. Of course Bale's agent would "listen" to offers from Real Madrid or any other club. That's the agent's job. The agent works for Gareth Bale, not for Tottenham Hotspur, and if his agent is not willing to "listen" to any overtures from interested clubs, then Bale should immediately fire him because he'd be an impossibly poor agent. Secondly, Jonathan Barnett may not be Gareth Bale's actual agent. He is the chairman of the Stellar Group, which is the agency that represents a lot of players, including Joe Hart, Ashley Cole, Steven Caulker, and Gylfi Sigurðsson. It's a big company, and we don't know to what extent Barnett is personally involved in Bale's agency, if what Barnett is saying is actually accurate, or if it's just agent-talk to drum up the best possible hypothetical deal for our dear Weezus.
Barnett's second point, however, is much more interesting, and runs counter to everything we've read over the past week. Many recent reports have suggested that Gareth Bale has been offered or has accepted a new contract from Tottenham Hotspur that would keep him at the club. Barnett's interview would suggest that this is not the case. Again, none of us are privy to the goings-on inside the club, so it's premature to freak out over this. Maybe there's a deal in the works. Maybe there isn't. Barnett's comments would indicate that the "done and dusted" contract deal that had been reported earlier is, well, bogus.
Regardless, we've taken the next step in what we've already known would be a long, arduous, and freakin' annoying transfer saga. Grab your machetes, people. We're now in the thick of #batcountry.