By Alan Robins
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Tottenham blogger Alan Robins discusses the speculation over Gareth Bale’s future.
With Gareth Bale arguably in the form of his life, the rumour mill has grown apace with Real Madrid, Paris St Germain and Bayern Munich all showing interest.
No doubt at some point Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea will be linked but their chances seem unlikely. The lesson of Robin van Persie’s sale to United is apposite - don’t weaken yourself and strengthen a rival at the same time - a lesson Arsenal continuously fail to heed.
The allure of Real - part of football’s aristocracy - is easy to see, while PSG are the nouveau riche of European football. Both seem to acquire footballers like kids do Match Attax, yet for a player as level-headed as Bale, would either really suit?
Both may have different managers next season, PSG appear to be money in search of a team and Real always seem to be a club in political pandemonium, especially in the dressing room. Would Bale want the pressure and the constant media attention that accompanies such a move? The main question may be exactly where he would fit into either team.
Bayern, however, may be a different and more logical prospect altogether - a club with history, likely Champions League football every season and in a country where there is less press intrusion.
Bayern are financially sound, a young team with some of the cream of German football and of course Pep Guardiola taking the helm in the summer. There is a sense that Bale would suit Guardiola’s tactical style of play ahead of Franck Ribery, and Guardiola showed at Barcelona that he can be ruthless when it comes to moving players on. Bayern may also wish to mark his arrival with a marquee signing.
Will Bale actually leave? If he continues his current form, he may well help Spurs into the Champions League and in doing so increase his value even more - and Bale would not come cheap anyway with a contract until 2016, especially with Daniel Levy at the negotiating table.
Champions League qualification may help Tottenham to keep him but, importantly, so might Andre Villas-Boas. As with other players, the Welshman has improved under AVB and Bale should see the potential of Spurs under the stable hand of the Portuguese.
At any of the other club, would Bale be just another star in a dressing room full of them? At Spurs he may be the focus of a team who are on the verge of something special.
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