After a season in which Gareth Bale was named PFA and Football Writers’ Player of the Year, the Welshman is one of the most sought after footballers on the planet.
The 23-year-old has been fantastic individually with 21 goals and four assists in 33 Premier League appearances and Tottenham are now going to struggle to hold onto him after missing out on fourth place, and Champions League football, to Arsenal on the last day of the season.
Bale’s brilliance kept Tottenham in the hunt for fourth all year but not even his wonder strike against Sunderland could help Spurs grab that elusive fourth spot. If Tottenham had secured it, I don’t think Bale would be looking at a move away in the summer but the lure of Champions League football may prove too much.
“When I get time off I go and visit my family” Gareth Bale
If Bale wants to compete at the highest level in the best club competitions next year, then Manchester United can offer him all of that. No doubt Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea will all show their interest in him but at United, he could create history. You only have to look at the likes of Ronaldo and Giggs to see the impact a winger can have at United.
And given his strong family links, it would be unlikely that Bale would want to move abroad at such a young age.
United are in desperate need of a world class winger after a poor season from Young, Nani and Valencia. In Hernandez and Van Persie, we have two of the most deadly finishers in the world just crying out for a winger to deliver for them.
Bale need only look at the rise of Ronaldo to see the sort of impact he could have at United. Ronaldo transformed himself from a tricky winger into a deadly front man when he began to drift inside and it is a characteristic Bale has delivered on with consummate ease this season.
And if it is competing at the top level that Bale wants, we showed once again this season that Manchester United will always be competing at the very top after taking our trophy back from City at a canter.
But there is one big sticking point when it comes to buying Gareth Bale – dealing with Daniel Levy.
The hard-nosed businessman is notoriously difficult to strike a deal with and our previous dealings with Dimitar Berbatov are a reminder of that, with Tottenham eventually collecting £30 million after a saga that lasted all summer. Even last year, Levy somehow managed to squeeze £33 million out of Real Madrid for a player who openly wanted to leave the club.
Ludicrous figures of £60 million have been thrown around for Bale but he would certainly command a fee of around £40-50 million. If Tottenham had made it into the Champions League and Bale had repeated his season next year against the best in Europe, then a fee of £60 million would be logical – but he hasn’t.
He has been in inspiring form since November but this is the first season he has done it on a consistent basis. He doesn’t warrant costing 75% of the fee that Real Madrid paid for Cristiano Ronaldo given that he had won the Champions League and Ballon d’Or already.
And although there are strong rumours today that Bale will sign a new £130k a week contract, Modric leaving soon after signing a five year deal shows that a new contract doesn’t stop a departure.
Given United’s bids for Hazard and Moura last season, we clearly have the funds available and I don’t think there is any player in the world right who would suit United more than Bale.
A ferociously quick, left footed Welshman tearing teams apart on the wings? Maybe Giggs should have a word in his ear.