It didn’t take much, and to date, I’ve yet to see independent verifiable confirmation that it happened, but the Bale race is now definitely under way. A couple of days ago, some newspapers were reporting that the Welshman’s agent had said that he would listen to offers from Real Madrid – and that was it. On your marks! Get set! He’ll listen to offers, or to put it another way - Go!
The Spanish giants are confident that their big stakes offer is the one that will win the day. Rumoured to be in the region of £60million, they’ve come out of the starting gates with a bang. The Daily star has reported them as expecting to have a deal tied up by 15th June. Having missed on Brazilian starlet Neymar, now safely ensconced with Barcelona, the Bale race is one that Madrid president Florentino Perez simply cannot afford to lose. The offer of matched salary, plus the bonus that Spurs cannot match of Champions’ League football, and the heightened exposure of playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world may well turn the head of Bale, but other clubs, encouraged by Madrid’s apparent belief that a deal can be done are also in the race – if a little behind the Spanish club.
The Daily Mirror are reporting that both Manchester clubs, plus Chelsea are also keen to sign Bale. For a player apparently not over keen on leaving home, this may be a possibility for him. The question however is whether Spurs, even given that a higher fee could be wrung from the English clubs, would sell to a rival club. It’s the sort of deal that comes back and bites you - again and again.
With talk turning quickly to action, it must be the very stuff of nightmare for Spurs and fans. Bale could have killed all of the speculation stone dead, by signing a new contract and declaring his intention to stay with the north London outfit for a further season at least. With this not happening, every passing day brought the possibility of him leaving closer and closer.
It may not be a case now of whether or not the Welshman leaves Spurs. It may well be more of a question as to where he goes.