Gareth Bale is arguably the hottest commodity in the English Premier League right now. The recently turned 24-year-old Welsh winger is coming off a fine season for the Tottenham Hotspurs where he scored 21 goals — good for third in the league — and tied with Luis Suárez for first with a 7.89 rating. Bale almost led the Spurs to a fourth-place finish, finishing one point behind Arsenal, and did so without any help en route to player of the year honors.
The left-footed Bale is seeking a transfer out of Tottenham, according to multiple reports. The team in interest, Real Madrid, is prepared to break the record transfer fee to obtain his services. Allegedly, Tottenham has turned down an offer of over $125 million. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has shown no interest in moving the player of the year. Real Madrid is anxious to build their squad to be on level with Barcelona who have retooled their roster with 21-year-old Brazilian star Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior.
If Real Madrid were able to somehow pry Bale from Tottenham, he and Cristiano Ronaldo would form the most popular 1-2 attack in all of football, though the two’s ability to coexist remains in question. After all, in order to pull in Bale, Real Madrid would need to make him the most expensive transfer ever — a move that might not sit well with superstar Ronaldo. Not only would Bale be the richer of the two, but one could argue the more talented. And with recent reports of Ronaldo wanting a return to Old Trafford, a Bale move could begin a domino effect in Real Madrid.
Reports of how much money has been included in any offer aren’t trustworthy, as transfer news are largely speculative. However, aside from the money, multiple players could be involved in the exchange for Bale. Angel Di Maria and Fabio Coentrao — who will make a combined $90 million over the next five years — might have been included in an offer to Tottenham, on top of $60 million cash. Tottenham isn’t likely to be attracted to such an offer as neither player would be able to elevate the Spurs into the top-four of the premier league. Di Maria is certainly a top-flight winger, but not nearly on the level that Bale is.
So it will take straight cash from the pockets of Real Madrid to obtain Bale, and that might indicate a lot of trouble for the Spanish club. What would happen to Ronaldo in the future, and would the two play well side-by-side? Would someone like Liverpool’s Luis Suárez be a better fit to play second fiddle to Ronaldo? (That move would also allow for Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez or Mesut Ozil to continue in their attacking position.) This issue comes down to whether Bale is worthy of being the richest transfer in the history of football. After just one superb season, it’s premature to consider him so.
For Tottenham, Bale was their lone 2012-2013 bright spot. But if they’re somehow able to pocket over $120 million in cash with no returning players, it might be well worth the move. Bale could have likely never made that team complete on his own and the lump sum of cash would help with multiple future transfer pursuits.