The Lead

I don’t know if David Hytner is best friends with Gareth Bale, or is a soothsayer, or wrote his article on the Tottenham winger’s desire to leave for Real Madrid using cue cards supplied either by RM or the player’s agents Jonathan Barnett and David Manasseh.

The Observer writer seems oddly personal in his description of the player’s “horror” at chairman Daniel Levy’s refusal to countenance a world record-breaking offer of £86.3m for the Welsh winger:

Bale cannot believe that Levy is blocking what could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, with the chairman merely maintaining that his prized asset is not for sale. Bale’s worth to André Villas-Boas’s team is obvious but the Wales international feels that there comes a point when it is unfair to hold somebody to the terms of his contract. His deal has three years to run.

The situation has got under Bale’s skin and it is threatening to turn ugly.

Perhaps Bale feels this intense feelings, but there are number of things he may want to consider.

  • He signed a three year contract in 2012 to play for Spurs, knowing full well RM was a shark in the water.
  • He has yet to submit a transfer request to Spurs.
  • Despite the feeling of Arsenal supporters, Spurs is a real football club that believes it has a chance at Champions League football the following season, when Bale will be 25.

There are times when contracts mean something and when simply taking a giant pile of cash for a world class player isn’t an option. It made sense for Napoli to sell Cavani as the margins between victory and failure in Serie A are relatively slim, and De Larentiis made some extraordinarily shrewd buys this summer transfer window. It made sense for Villa to at least consider selling Christian Benteke, despite how they’ve now gone and kept him, as the roster was vastly inexperienced and not in the best financial shape.

Spurs’ success however comes from having a player like Bale. The fierce competition for that coveted final Premier League fourth spot and entrance to the Champions League is intense. To lose Bale the season after missing out by a single point would be something of a disaster for Tottenham. The gobs of money that go back and forth in the transfer market after all are meant to buy players; what good is it when you have the one(s) that you want already?


Richard Scudamore says the Premier League is not to blame for England’s failure to win a World Cup [the Guardian].

The Sportsmail staff give their verdicts following the Premier League pre-season tour [Daily Mail].

Stuart Holden picks up ‘very serious’ knee injury following the USA’s 1-0 win over Panama in the Gold Cup final [ESPNFC].

Germany wins 6th straight European Championship in Women’s Euros after beating Norway 1-0 [BBC].

Bayern throw in for David Luiz to the tune of 40 million pounds: ROOMORE [the Sun].

Barnet’s Edgar Davids wear’s the No1 shirt…in midfield [Dirty Tackle].