There are a few dozen transfer stories posted on the internet every day about Gareth Bale. We've been posting about other transfer stories, probably for quite a few reasons. Here are three of them.
1. We haven't heard any reliable or semi-reliable reports about a bid from Real Madrid or anyone else.
2. Most of the stories that do go up are just people making up big numbers.
3. We're all quite sick of this shit after the two-year Luka Modric transfer saga.
But this is a Tottenham Hotspur blog, and one that has decided to write multiple posts daily about transfer rumors while there are no real games, preseason games or youth games to write about instead. Therefore, we need to address these stupid-ass rumors.
First, something that isn't stupid, from Dan Fitch. His post entitled 'At what price does it make sense to sell Bale?' over at ESPN FC was actually quite good. I'll quote the most relevant passage, but I recommend that you click through and read the whole thing.
£80m would equal the world record transfer fee paid by Real Madrid for Ronaldo. Surely you'd have to take that money? Bale after all, has not yet achieved what Ronaldo had done by the time such a figure was paid for him.
Tottenham don't sign many duds these days. There's no reason to believe that the money wouldn't be spent on players that would make the team and squad better.
There's also the little matter of the new stadium we're building. It may be boring and akin to winning a small fortune on the horses and saving it for a rainy day, but putting £20m towards the stadium this summer is the sort of sensible decision that has made ENIC's reign a successful one.
I love Gareth Bale and don't want us to sell him, but if a ridiculous bid like £80m came in, Daniel Levy would be absolutely mad not to take it. The fact that there was even a legitimate debate about whether Bale, Robin van Persie or Luis Suarez was the best attacking player in the country last season suggests that it's a ludicrous price to pay. That's a price reserved for the Ronaldos and Zidanes of the world, legitimately legendary players. Levy doesn't say no without thinking about it first if a £40m bid comes in.
If you're wondering where that figure came from, it's pieces like this insane one from John Cross at the Mirror and this less crazy but still mind-numbing one from Charles Sale at the Daily Mail. The idea that Bale is worth two and a half times as much as Eden Hazard and Neymar is mind-blowing. Not that I don't think he's better than both of those players right now -- I do -- but the gap is nowhere near that large. He's also older and will command insane wages compared to those two. Like, double what both of them will make next season.
Cross says that Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United are all interested, but the Express says that Bale will be off-limits to English opposition. That's probably the case at a less than insane but still hilariously inflated price of £50m, but I doubt Levy's going to say no to United or City if they show up at his office with a fat ass check for £80m. Modric was off limits to English clubs because the most anyone was willing to pay for him was a super reasonable fee of around £30-35m. If Bale is going for that kind of insane money, different ballgame. Though Levy might say no to Chelsea anyway, because screw Chelsea.
Basically, all this is quite bananas and I don't really want to live in a world where Bale is worth £80m, with five teams willing to shell out that kind of fee to get him. I assume that this is not the world we live in, but if any of this comes to fruition, all I'm going to do is laugh.
I also hope that, if this happens, everyone wakes up and realizes that football clubs are not really businesses or parts of their communities, but playthings for wealthy people. I'm not moralizing as I don't feel like sports are a special thing that need to be protected, just making an observation.
tl;dr - The Gareth Bale rumors are stupid, no one should turn down £80m for a world class but not transcendent footballer like Bale, and football clubs are playthings for wealthy people masquerading as businesses.