Having continued his fine form from last season, with two performances of the highest calibre against the defending European Champions, it is no surprise that quotes of huge sums of money coming from Europe’s finest clubs for Bale’s services are being thrown about by the media.
Considering the damage to the opposition he is capable of doing and how quickly he has developed into the main attacking outlet of the team. He is always on hand providing an outlet on the left flank either to just alleviate pressure when Spurs are on the back foot or to start attacks at such blistering pace right up until the 90th minute. It is essential for Tottenham’s progress as a club to keep on to this prized asset. In an attempt to deter this interest Levy has decided to act first by preparing a new contract that will put Bale among the highest paid at the club. Believed to be upwards of £50,000 a week, still not a great deal compared to the riches some could offer. So it is important that financial reward is not the only ploy used to keep the player. Fortunately for Spurs the player seems content to be playing, learning and further developing his game at Tottenham for the time being. A player of this calibre will want to be playing at the highest level and for Spurs to keep him in the long term it is this that they will need to address more than the financial aspect. Primarily by striving to make Champions League football a regular occurrence not merely a one season foray.
There are further complications also for trying to tie down the player to the club merely by throwing money at him. Having only improved his contract in the summer the club should not want to set a precedent for the player whereby he is able to almost demand an improved contract after some good performances and rumours have circulated in the transfer mill. Although Gareth Bale hardly seems the character to wish to employ such tactics. I am not convinced everyone else in the dressing room shares his honest approach. And with agent influence players could start demanding improved contracts mere months into their existing ones on the back of a few good performances. Perhaps this already happens, but to so publicly offer improved terms so soon into an existing agreement I feel could be further damaging to the integrity of a contract. And transfer too much power to the player and agent.
Yet what is possibly more important for Tottenham than keeping the services of Bale at the club or preserving some level of sanity in their long term contracts is the message of intent that this would send out to prospective buyers. To be able to hold on to such a talent in light of what is some serious financial incentives would demonstrate turning a corner from a club that has become a bit too used to selling its best players. The previous departures of Carrick and Berbatov north the brighter lights of Manchester United set the club back tremendously. Not only were these players the focal points of the team, but the manner in which they left demonstrated the vast gap that still lay between them and a club like Manchester United. Whether or not Spurs are able to hold on to Bale will be a test of Levy’s will and an indication of how far they have come.