Linked with clubs the stature of Barcelona and Real Madrid, many will be surprised to learn that Gareth Bale has signed a four-year extension to his current Tottenham contract.
Though initially a figure of derision for many at White Hart Lane, a string of stellar performances during Spurs’ march to the Champions League quarter-final of 2010/2011 have seen Bale’s stock rise ever since.
Now regarded as one of the world’s most exciting widemen, reports of interest from a host of giant European clubs resurfaced as Harry Redknapp left Tottenham.
Bale has dispelled rumours that he was set to follow his boss out of North London however, with the 22-year-old committing his future to Spurs for the next four years at least.
This news will give a massive boost to the side, currently managerless, who are 20/1 to lift a maiden Premier League title next term.
That accolade could prove a bridge too far, but a third top four finish in four years certainly looks more likely amidst news of Bale’s stay.
In an unfortunate turn of events for Spurs last term, Chelsea’s Champions League success meant that their fourth placed finish was not enough to secure a spot in next year’s renewal of the elite European competition.
They will instead take up a berth in the Europa League, a competition which they would likely have gone much further in last season had they placed more importance on it.
A lengthy FA Cup run last season necessitated squad rotation, but with Spurs’ new manager sure to be eager to attain silverware as early as possible, they may be worth backing to actually win England’s oldest cup competition at 10/1 next year.
They reached the semi-final of the tournament last season, where Bale himself notched at Wembley, only to be unceremoniously dumped out, ironically by eventual winners Chelsea, but could go one better this term.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.