Tottenham need to act quickly. Reaching the Champions League is like a promotion and they missed out again, effectively beaten in the play-offs. A day after Spurs missed out on UEFA Champions League football; reports from England suggest their talisman Gareth Bale will remain at White Hart Lane.
Gareth Bale has reportedly decided to end any speculation that he is leaving Tottenham by signing a new contract to stay with the club, at least for another year. If, as expected, Daniel Levy agrees to his demands, Bale would become the club’s biggest earner, but more importantly it would be a ‘hands-off’ to those who covet the 23-year-old and a message to potential transfer targets that Tottenham intend to build on their highest points return in the Barclays Premier League. Tottenham’s failure to secure Champions League football is going to impact heavily on contract talks with their star performer. The triple Footballer of the Year, who scored 26 goals for Spurs in a brilliant personal campaign, is expected to commit his future to White Hart Lane for at least one more season. But Tottenham are going to have to improve his salary to around the £150,000-a-week mark — putting him on a par with the best-paid players in the Premier League — to make up for his huge disappointment at not taking part in European club football’s flagship competition.
Bale’s proposed new deal would be worth up to £150,000 a week but, would contain provision for him to leave next summer should an offer come in of more than £50million. The Wales winger was due yesterday to travel with the Tottenham squad to the Bahamas for an exhibition match against Jamaica on Thursday. Joe Lewis, Tottenham’s billionaire owner, is based in the Bahamas, meaning that the trip will also potentially allow manager Andre Villas-Boas to discuss his summer transfer budget and plans. The Wales international realizes his chances of playing in a World Cup or even a European Championship with his national team are slim, making Champions League involvement all the more important to him. So Spurs will have to grant Bale a massive pay rise to compensate for parading his talent in the second-rate Europa League even though there are three years left on his £110,000-a-week contract.
“We have been outlining the route ahead for what we want to do in terms of the club structures and hopefully the arrival of somebody else in the structure for the recruitment side, a technical director, so hopefully we can take those steps forward,” said Villas-Boas. “We got ever so close, but they [Manchester United, City, Chelsea and Arsenal] will do their job in window, and we will do ours the Tottenham way: scouting properly and look for good grabs in summer window to make it a stronger squad. “Will the big clubs be able to lure Bale away? It is very very difficult to lure a player of this dimension away. You have to hold on to your best assets. If we want to make it better next season we have to hold on to our best assets and this is what I have been told from the top.”
The biggest test of Tottenham’s determination to keep Bale this summer is likely to come from Real Madrid, with Carlo Ancelotti – who is expected to replace Jose Mourinho – a big admirer of the Spurs winger. Manchester United had been one of the biggest suitors over the past month. However, it is now clear that Bale will look to finish what he started with Tottenham. By keeping the forward and possibly adding some talent in other spots, the club is certainly capable of contending for one of the top spots in the EPL next season. It appears the rest of the world will have to look in other places this summer to acquire an elite scorer just entering his prime.
Bale won the Player of the Year, PFA Player and Young Player of the Year and the Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year.