For Tottenham, it may seem near impossible to paint the picture that losing Gareth Bale this summer can be a positive thing. Not because getting him out of the club is needed for any form of stability, financial or otherwise, but rather because Real Madrid are reckless and have a track record of moving on exceptional talents for very little.
When the current La Liga champions want something, they more or less go all out to get it. When they decide it’s time to wash away the old and spend extravagantly on the new, Madrid are not exactly the most thoughtful when it comes to recognising their potential loss.
Tottenham have been here before, landing Rafael van der Vaart from the Spanish giants for a little under £10 million. Inter Milan benefitted enormously when Florentino Perez decided he had to make room for the second wave of Galacticos by offering Wesley Sneijder to the Italians for a figure around €15 million.
Daniel Levy is far too shrewd not to take advantage. Sure, it may be a valid argument to suggest the Tottenham chairman lost out in a way when he delayed Luka Modric’s departure to Real Madrid last summer in the hope of receiving £40 million. But Spurs’ current position in the Premier League says they’re doing just fine.
If Perez and whoever may be Madrid manager ahead of next season want Gareth Bale, then I’m sure Levy will oblige if he feels the move is best for Tottenham. But a sizeable fee in return might not be enough. It really shouldn’t be enough when the Madrid squad is heaving with talents who look set to be on the out.
Tottenham’s quest for a world class striker may come to an end this summer. Each time they’ve seemingly come across a Black Knight who stubbornly refuses to budge when the path towards a new forward lays only a matter of feet away. If Tottenham do land Champions League football for next season, upgrading their strike force with Gonzalo Higuain would send a massive statement of intent to those who may be unlucky enough to draw a trip to White Hart Lane in the group stage.
There’s nothing else for it, Higuain has been poor for the majority of this season. The Argentinian forward has considerably dropped off on his contribution from last year, partnering fellow-forward Karim Benzema once again in a standout category, only this time being two star names who have been hugely disappointing throughout the campaign.
Yet there’s nothing wrong with Higuain. Nor is there anything wrong with Mesut Ozil, Kaka or the Madrid back line. Obviously something has changed this season, and Higuain could head a collection of big names out the door of the Bernabeu.
There’s no doubt that Higuain is capable of the spectacular, as well as being incredibly reliable in the need for a simple poacher’s goal. He’s a forward who can net 30 in a season and make it look wholly convincing. His youth, technical quality and importance in the group of senior Spanish players in the Madrid dressing room suggests he will be an asset wherever he goes. It could have been Juventus had they not landed Fernando Llorente. Arsenal are said to be monitoring his situation, too. Daniel Levy, however, may be able to take advantage of their rival’s lack of decisiveness in the market, while in turn forcing Madrid to continue the trend of massively undervaluing their talents.
A move for Kaka would appear to be well outside of Tottenham’s price range, as the midfielder is currently sitting on €180,000-a-week. But Angel Di Maria would be a more than suitable player to help ease the pain of Bale’s potential departure.
Di Maria is another name who has failed to make a lasting impression this season, only coming alive for a small handful of games. The theatrics and propensity to go missing may make the Argentine seem unappealing, but Di Maria has had notable moments of genius this season.
The 5-0 thrashing of Valencia was significant as it proved that there was indeed plenty in the tank for Madrid to turn over opponents in stunning fashion. On that day, Di Maria helped himself to two of the five goals and assisted in another. He’s at his best when roaming across the midfield in the space just behind the striker. He complements Madrid’s counterattacking game extremely well and has the ingenuity to find the killer pass. He’s not the direct replacement for Modric Spurs and specifically Andre Villas-Boas may want, but he’d be an incredible addition to the Tottenham squad nonetheless.
Daniel Levy wouldn’t have the reputation he currently does without being bold. As strong a negotiator as you’re likely to find and someone who puts ego and his own image aside for the growth of his club. If this season is a sign of what’s to come from Villas-Boas, then Levy may be looking to continue this partnership well into the future, allowing the Portuguese to take hold of the reins and guide Tottenham to a status that allows them to be considered regular top four finishers.
There’s no taking away from Madrid’s Cantera, even with the might of Barcelona’s La Masia. Alvaro Morata is a rarity, making his way out of the youth system and into the first team at the Bernabeu. The fact he’s been given a chance under Jose Mourinho makes it even more interesting. Yet Morata is one of a few unquestionable future stars. He’s one of a handful of youngsters who know they’re ready for the big time but who may have to find a home somewhere else. Among them is also Jese Rodriguez, who trains with the first team but has only played once under Mourinho.
As a package, both Rodriguez and Morata may be the best part-exchange Spurs could get, while also receiving a fee from Madrid. Youngsters who are yet to command the kind of wages that would make their signings uncomfortable for Tottenham. Players with a point to prove and who need regular first-team football to fulfil the potential that appears to excite so many who are following them. There’s no doubt they’re both ready for full campaign with a club like Spurs, where the level of football is high enough for them to excel while not engulfing them in the expectation that could damage inexperienced youngsters.
Daniel Levy is holding the stronger hand ahead of likely negotiations with Real Madrid for Bale. The player isn’t forcing the move in the same way Modric did last summer, and it may not be too much of a surprise to see Bale remain at Tottenham, fully in the knowledge that White Hart Lane will be a battleground for Europe’s elite next season.
But should this season be the last for Bale in north London, Levy will find comfort in the thought that Madrid are looking to overhaul a squad that is filled with superstars in the European game. A situation that could favour Tottenham heavily.
[cat_link cat=”tottenham” type=”grid”]