In cutting in from the right wing and unleashing one more match-winning thunderbolt against Sunderland, Gareth Bale signed off the 2012/13 campaign in fitting style. However with the season just passed the Welshman’s finest yet in a Lilywhite shirt, suggestions that he’ll move in search of Champions League football won’t go away – Ladbrokes are 5/4 about him leaving White Hart Lane this summer.
For many the parallels between Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are obvious – speed, strength, unerring accuracy from distance and the ability to rise above what’s going on around them and win a game with a moment of inspiration are all traits the pair share.
Bale has just claimed a PFA Player/Young Player of the Year double the man from Madeira himself bagged back in 2006/7 and it’s possible that he may be set to further emulate Ronaldo by donning the red shirt of Manchester United in the future.
Sir Alex Ferguson recently told the Daily Mail that United had been the first to enquire about signing the then-17-year-old Welshman when he was at Southampton, but had failed to receive a satisfactory response from the South Coast club.
United will be in the position to spend this summer, having completed a number of big-money sponsorship deals so the £40m-plus fee Bale would command will be unlikely to put them off.
Furthermore with Tottenham – and their hard-bargaining chairman Daniel Levy in particular – commanding a reputation as fearsome negotiators, the fact that the road from White Hart Lane to Old Trafford is a well-worn one makes a potential deal for the Welsh wonder more feasible – Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov have both made the switch for sky-high fees in recent campaigns.
With a surfeit of average attacking midfielders clogging up the Carrington car park David Moyes will need to set about streamlining his options this summer and bringing in Bale could allow him to dispense with the services of underwhelming wide men like Ashley Young and Nani.
Needless to say Spurs will do everything they can to keep their hero, who would be vital for their hopes of securing a top four berth in 2013/14 – they can currently be backed at 11/10 to achieve Champions League qualification next term.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication