Gareth Bale’s incredible recent form is seeing the Tottenham winger linked with many of Europe’s top clubs. The Welshman has scored eight goals in his past six appearances, including some spectacular strikes such as a last-minute winner against West Ham on Monday.
There has long been talk of interest from the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona and Tottenham appear set to face a real battle to hang onto the 23-year-old this summer.
The Daily Mail has claimed that if Cristiano Ronaldo continues to hesitate over signing a new contract, Madrid will step up their interest in Bale as a replacement for the Portuguese forward.
Just this week, former Madrid president Roman Calderon claimed that the club are likely to be prepared to pay what it takes to secure Bale in the close season.
“I think he is a fantastic player,” Calderon, president between 2006 and 2009, told TalkSport. “He is one of those players you would always like to have in your team.
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“It’s true we have spent a lot of money in the last three or four years but I think we are in a position to pay the money they are going to ask for.
“There is always a limit but Real Madrid is in a very healthy situation, economically speaking, so it would be in the position to sign him.”
Goal.com has reported that Tottenham will demand at least £50 million for Bale. Given Tottenham chairman’s Daniel Levy tough negotiating reputation, it is easy to believe that figure.
Goal also assert that Manchester City are ready to enter the race for Bale’s signature. It is said that City boss Roberto Mancini is trying to compel the club’s hierarchy to get a deal done, although director of football Txiki Begiristain is of the opinion that Bale will be too expensive.
City and Madrid are unlikely to be the only two interested parties. Barcelona have been linked to Bale for around two years and they could well push hard for his signature this summer if David Villa leaves and Neymar cannot be lured from Santos in Brazil.
The Daily Mirror has also recently named both Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain as interested parties. Bayern would make sense given that they will be managed by former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola after this season.
PSG can be expected to be in for every leading player available with their seemingly endless wealth and apparent little regard for Financial Fair Play.
Bale has previously spoken of his desire to play abroad at some point in his career and, given the two clubs’ prestige, a move to Madrid or Barcelona appears most likely. Currently Madrid would seem to be at the front of the queue.
However, with Tottenham currently third in the Premier League at the beginning of an exciting new era under Andre Villas-Boas, Spurs will be confident of hanging onto their prized asset for at least another season.