By now, you've probably heard the rumor that Real Madrid plan to break the world transfer record by bidding £85m for Gareth Bale. In this venture into Fantasyland, we ask the site's writers how they'd spend the money. Because this is Ventures into Fantasyland, we asked them to discount the existence of the NDP, because that's no fun. We want to spend. SPEND IT ALL.
The problem with getting £85 million is that now everyone in the world knows we have that money and the prices on their players instantly go up. Most of that money should go towards securing two proven goal scorers. Damiao and one of Villa/Higuain/Soldado/Aubemayang would probably eat up about £35-40 million of that.
The question then is, are you comfortable going into the season with Lennon and Townsend/Siggy/Dempsey on the wings? I am. I think the combination of Townsend and Siggy can score enough goals to be solid on that side of the pitch. The real addition the club still needs is a midfielder. So another £10-12 million ought to be spent on bringing in Banega, Pjanic, Kapoue, Cabaye, or someone like that.
So that's £50 million of the fee spent. I'd bank the rest and save it for January or put it toward raising the wage scale or something like that. This team needed a striker last season and signing two should make up for any deficiencies we had.
First of all, I'd roll around in giant piles of £20 notes for a while while wearing nothing but a monocle. Once that stops being fun (never!), I'd go out and prioritize the following players, all of which I think could make Spurs not only as good as they were this past year, but even better.
Son Heung-Min. He's young, set for a break-out season, can play either up top or wide, and oh yeah, he's really, really good. £15m.
#weneedastriker. Two of the following four players: Roberto Soldado, Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang, Leandro Damiao, Gonzalo Higuain. £40m.
Ever Banega. He's young, a proven creative midfield presence, and we can probably get him in the Valencia fire sale. £10m.
Leighton Baines. Sure, maybe he'll go to United. But we're flush with cash; let's make a play for him in a position of need. £20m.
If I were Daniel Levy, the first thing I would do is buy a bigger boat because, as that movie about the shark with huge jaws (the title of which I can't remember right now) teaches us, you should get a bigger boat, just in case you're being pursued by a murderous fish.
Then I would buy Steffan Freund a sandwich.
After that, I would buy Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. He can play both wings and in the middle. He's not a Bale replacement, but he's as close as you can get. £15m.
Then I would buy Edin Dzeko and Leandro Damiao. They are out-and-out strikers that are good at their jobs. £45m.
Then I would get a tattoo on my left bicep of Siggy's face that said "BRO DO YOU EVEN GYLF" because I am a supportive chairman. £60.
Then I would buy a creative midfielder. Ever Banega or Benat would do quite nicely, thank you. £10m.
Oh no I still have more money. Um...okay, we need a backup goalkeeper, because Brad Friedel, bless his bald head, does not inspire confidence. Let's go ahead and get Joel Robles, who was on loan to Wigan from Atletico Madrid. £2m.
Then I would buy a left back, because even if He of Many LOLs doesn't depart for pastures new, K-Naughty isn't good cover. (Danny Rose is getting bought by Sunderland. You know this.) I want Daley Blind from Ajax. £2m.
After buying SIX DAMN PLAYERS, a boat, a tattoo and a sandwich, I still have ~£10m left. With this money, I would purchase cover for Sandro. Say hello to Roman Neustadter. £10m.
First, I make several demands of Real Madrid. 1) They purchase a comically oversized black sack with a huge pound-sign printed on it. 2) They actually get £85m in bank notes and they stuff into the sack so that bills are overflowing. I expect that the Real Madrid representatives will have to scramble around chasing the notes as they are buffeted by the wind, hurriedly placing them back into the sack, where they start falling out again. 3) At the press conference, Florentino Pérez must present us the money by walking up the steps to the dais with the sack over his shoulder, bending forward and huffing and puffing in comical exertion until he reaches the center of the stage, where he can finally drop it heavily to the floor. He will pick up a bill from the sack and wipe his brow with it. Then we will take the money.Once the drama is completed, then I would consider what to do with the money.
My feeling is that Gareth Bale is our near future. A player of Gareth Bale's dimension transforms his whole team, and if we want to win stuff in the near future, we should be keeping Gareth Bale.
So if we're selling Gareth Bale, it should be with at least one eye, and maybe half of the other eye, gazing over the horizon to the long-term. The long-term success of this club depends on the new stadium, and the increased wages we can pay once new stadium revenue is coming in. I would take maybe £40m and dedicate it to the stadium and to the gradual increase in payroll and wage scale in the seasons before the stadium is built. (Editor's note: Of course someone says this even though it was forbidden.)
Then you've got still £45m to spend. I'd focus on strikers, like everyone else. Without Bale, we have exceptionally few goals in the squad. I have no idea which strikers. Let's say the ones we've actually been directly linked to, Villa and Damiao, whose reported transfer fees run £28m.
This leaves us with maybe £17m to spend and possible spaces to upgrade in central midfield, at the wings, and at left back. It's kind of useless to say that I would scour the transfer market for the best 23-and-under talent at one of those positions. Let's say we go hard after Thiago Alcantara (buyout £18m, but who's counting?), and we spend some of that wage-money set aside earlier to pay competitive top-tier wages.
And a pony.
Why are we all stressed out about Bale leaving when we have his clone coming up through the youth ranks? I say the first thing we do is put £10m aside to support wee Kenny McEvoy's development -- the biggest home gym ever built, the most intense personal trainers in the world, and all the vitamin supplements money can buy.
That leaves us £75m to play around with. Technically Joao Moutinho only cost Monaco £1m if the rumours are to be believed, so surely offering them a massive profit with a £30m bid will be enough to convince them that they should let him go before he even plays a game in their colours. Then I dedicate another £35m to sorting out the striker problem -- one veteran and a couple of promising youngsters should set us up for a good long while.
Finally, I devote the remaining £10m to paying the press off to make the rumours about Damiao go away. For good.
Luckily for Spurs, £85m is precisely the exact amount of money required to follow the Liverpool path to success.
Jordan Henderson - £20m
Stewart Downing - £20m
Charlie Adam - £10m
Andy Carroll - £35m
Title challenge. Nailed on.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Just Zlatan Ibrahimovic.