So, Gareth Bale’s agent has finally got the transfer ball rolling with a perhaps partially calculated interview on Spain’s Marca TV. During the now well-documented chat, Jonathan Barnett got Real Madrid, Manchester United and others’ attention by saying:
“If Florentino is interested in Gareth Bale, it would be an honour and we’d listen,”
“But his contract is with Tottenham. We aren’t free to talk with anybody at the moment, that’s the point we’re at.
“I can understand a lot of teams are interested in him. He’s a great player but he has a contract with Tottenham. I don’t know if there has been a bid. What I do know is that the player has three years left on his contract.”
He went on to do a scarcely necessary sales pitch:
“Bale is a better player than Neymar and he’s demonstrated it in one of the best leagues in the world,”
“I would imagine clubs want him not just because they missed out on Neymar but because of how good he is. He should be the first option, we’ll see … Bale is worth more than Neymar.
“Bale is very relaxed … he’s enjoying a deserved holiday. He only wants to be happy and enjoy his football.”
So, it is now apparent that Bale is prepared to leave Tottenham this summer. The interview may of course simply be a way of negotiating an even better contract with Tottenham – but it seems unlikely – Tottenham know what they have got in Bale and will offer the best terms that they possibly can. But this interview would suggest that Bale is open to a move.
Spurs fans have reminded everyone time and again that Chairman Daniel Levy is loathe to sell to Manchester United. He would seemingly much rather deal with a foreign club and may even facilitate the Real Madrid deal if he feels that a transfer is unavoidable.
But, with David Moyes keen to make an immediate impact at Manchester United, is there any chance that The Glazers would back a move for the Welsh magician? With the Cristiano Ronaldo money arguably still not spent, wouldn’t this 23 year old represent a superb investment for Manchester United, even at a reported £60m?
Wilfried Zaha can play on either wing but is still untested at the top. Shinji Kagawa can occupy the left side but not in the manner of a typical Manchester United winger. Apart from that, Manchester United have Nani and Ashley Young, neither of whom are left-footed and both of whom could be portrayed as having failed to perform on a consistent basis at Old Trafford.
In so many ways then, Gareth Bale would be the perfect fit for Manchester United. Of course, he would fit into any club, but Manchester United arguably need a left-winger more than anything else. Yes, £60m is a huge figure but could easily be offset by the departures of Nani, Young, Buttner and Anderson for example. At 23, Manchester United could get 5 years out of him and still recoup most of their money should they want to sell at a later date. And, most importantly, the addition of Bale would almost guarantee continued silverware at Manchester United. Silverware that is crucial to the club if it wants to maintain its profitability and global profile. So a deal shouldn’t be perceived as too expensive for a club like Manchester United. A Neymar or a Falcao has no affiliation to Britain and the lure of Spain, or the new money of France, is understandable for such players. But surely, the biggest clubs in England should be bidding, with confidence, for the best British talent.
With Real Madrid clearly on the prowl Bale to Manchester United still seems unlikely but, after the arrival of RvP last summer, noone would be particularly surprised if the Welshman followed in the footsteps of his hero Ryan Giggs.