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The pursuit of Tottenham winger Gareth Bale
After a breathtaking season in which he won the PFA Players and Young Player of the year awards and the Football Writers Association Player of the year, Gareth Bale has been attracting a lot of interest from some of the biggest clubs in the world.
Madrid's latest pursuit of the Welshman has become relentless. From players like Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas describing how good Bale is and how well he would fit into Madrid's team. Then there's the former icon and arguably the best player to play the game, Zinedine Zidane who has described Bale as the player who he most enjoyed watching last season. Then the media. Spanish newspaper Marca has a history of printing false stories. But the paper is continuing to print stories of a move for Bale.
This is a tactic that Madrid have used before in their pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo. Information gets leaked to the paper to speculate a move, key players in the side say they would like to see the player at the club and the legends get involved saying they also want the player at the club.
It seemed that Bale was set to stay at Tottenham for another season, but after the latest interest from Madrid, it's been reported that Bale now wants to talk to Madrid and seek a move away from White Hart Lane. And why wouldn't he.
Bale has a chance to play for one of the best teams in the world and he will be playing with some of the best players in the world so that will only improve his game. Bale would also have the chance to play in the Champions League. Competing against the best players and the best teams in Europe will only make Bale a better player. There's also the chance to be competing for trophies on a regular basis.
Competing in the Champions League is something that Tottenham can not offer Bale. After missing out on the final day of the season, Tottenham will have to take part in the Europa League. Bale will get nothing out of playing in the Europa League. He's outgrown that competition and he needs to be playing amongst the best.
A problem that Bale may have is his age. Some people think that Bale is too young to make the move abroad and should stay in England. Bale is 24 and has been around since making his debut when he was 16 at Southampton.
Michael Owen made the move to Real Madrid when he was 24. Owen openly admits that he struggled to adjust to life in Spain. Owen told BBC Radio 5 Live.
"Any player going from over here to Spain, it's a lot different to what you imagine. It's a slow pace of life and you need to get things in order off the pitch. It's very difficult."
After just one year at the Bernabeu, Owen returned to England with Newcastle.
It's a tough situation for Tottenham and Daniel Levy. They don't want to lose their best player but if Bale wants to leave then they will have to sell at the right price. That price seems to be of a world record fee. If Tottenham receive a world record bid, they'll be stupid to reject it. The amount of money they could receive for Bale would help Tottenham bring in 3-4 world class players. As bad as it would be to lose Bale, Tottenham could actually improve as a squad.
As for Bale, he has to leave Spurs. Bale needs to be competing in the Champions League. To be considered as one of the best, he has to be playing against the best. He's had a great season and is in great form. An opportunity to play for Real Madrid may only come around once in a lifetime, and if this is Bale's opportunity, he has to take it.
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