How much is Manchester United target and Tottenham winger Gareth Bale truly worth?
David Gill has reportedly approached Spurs chairman Daniel Levy about a deal for the 23-year-old, and the Manchester United chief executive was shocked by Tottenham's asking price. The London outfit have slapped a staggering £70million pound on the Welshman's head – in order to keep the top clubs around Europe away.
Tottenham are instead focussing on talks with Bale's advisors over a new five-year contract worth £150,000-a-week, which would shatter the club’s wage structure. The Welshman has been rewarded for his rise to stardom with new deals in each of the last three years.
Manchester United are not the only club after the 23 year old. Barcelona and Real Madrid are all keeping tabs on the Tottenham star, who according to Goal.com is ready to stay at White Hart Lane for one more season, if the club earn Champions League football.
Tottenham Hotspur paid Southampton Football Club £5million, rising to £7million for Gareth Bale back in 2007. His rise to prominence came in the Champions League clash against Inter Milan in 2010. The Italians were European Champions at the time, and across the two legs Gareth Bale recorded an impressive hatrick and two assists. The Welshman hasn't looked back since, but has he done enough to warrant a move of £70million?
Bale has 21 goals and 9 assists in all competitions this season, and has added to his game by adaptaing a more central role in Tottenham's attack. With the two departures of Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart, Bale has had to at times carry the London club's attack. He has become a leader at Spurs with his displays this season, and at the age of 23, has become an appealing attraction for all the top sides in Europe.
Bale has Champions League and Europa League experience, he has six years experience in the Premier League and has improved his all round game in a new central role, almost as a second striker. He has obviously spent hours in training on his free-kick technique, and has now added a vast array of talent in to his attacking arsenal.
Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid from Manchester United for a world record fee of £80million. Tottenham are asking for just £10million less than that. Now, we can all see the similiarties between Gareth Bale and former Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo. But does that mean they deserve a similar price tag?
At the age of 25, Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid from Manchester United for £80million. He left Manchester United after scoring 118 goals in 292 appearances, and was a three time Premier League winner, Champions League winner, two time League Cup winner, and so on.
Gareth Bale, 23, has 50 goals in 196 appearances for Tottenham Hotspur and has yet to win a trophy at the club.
The stats are uncomparable, but it should be noted that Cristiano Ronaldo was two years older and was in arguably Manchester United's strongest squad in the modern era.
So is Gareth Bale worth £70million? The answer is no. Manchester United fans know that, Tottenham fans know that, Sir Alex Ferguson knows that, Daniel Levy knows that, every football fan with an ounce of intelligence knows that. But don't be surprised to see him leave for something close to that amount.
What Daniel Levy is so good at doing is ensuring that Tottenham Hotspur always come off well. He hustled Manchester United in the past in to paying £30million for a striker who left the club 3 and a half years later. Levy also bartered up a £33million deal for playmaker Luka Modric. The Croat was far from happy at the club, and his exit seemed inevitable. He sold the midfielder to a foreign club, agreed a future partnership with the side and made a £16.5million profit on the player.
Gareth Bale will eventually leave Tottenham Hotspur. And in the current world of football, who knows for what price? Manchester City could come in with a £100million pounder offer, only for PSG to offer Tottenham £150million.
Thankfully, Bale seems a rather humble lad and money is far from an incentive in his eyes. Meaning there is only three ideal clubs for the Welshman to go. He could replicate Ryan Giggs at Manchester United, or be enticed to the sunny isles of Spain with Real Madrid or Barcelona.
Wherever he ends up, Tottenham fans should be proud that they took part in watching of one of the world's brightest talents master his game and transform in to a world beater.
Come 25, Bale himself may be up North at Manchester United, or in sunnier climates in Spain. Real Madrid and Barcelona are two clubs who would be near on impossible to reject.
In my opinion, Gareth Bale is more of a Real Madrid type player – but could he face direct competition with Cristiano Ronaldo? And for £70million, could he replicate a similiar goal return to the Portuguese star? Bale has already rejected Manchester United in the past, would he do it again? Barcelona are arguably the most attractive proposition in football right now – but is there room for the Welshman in the 4-3-3 formation?
Gareth Bale will end up a top, top player. Tottenham created him, what club will perfect him?
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