Villas-Boas should beware pushing Bale on contract

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas has urged Gareth Bale to sign a new and improved contract with Spurs amidst speculation over the Welshman’s future.

Bale has been simply breathtaking this term, earning himself all the plaudits along with the PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awrards for his incredible contribution for the North Londoners this season.

He has subsequently, also earned himself his fair share of suitors both at home and abroad – Real Madrid and Manchester United are both heavily linked with the 23-year-old who Villas-Boas is understandably keen to sign up to a longer contract this summer.

Bale’s current deal still has ample time left on it – it doesn’t expire until the summer of 2016 – but with serious concerns over his future at White Hart Lane, Villas-Boas has taken the innitaive and, in effect, pubclicly encouraged the player to sign up.

"It would be good for him [to sign a new contract]. I think he deserves it for the season he's had,” said the Portugese coach.

"Obviously we could put to bed every single speculation that's coming out. It would be excellent and I think a reward for what he has achieved this season."

There is no debate as to whether Bale deserves a new and improved deal with Spurs – as their best player by a massive distance, he undoubtedly deserves to be their highest earner but, realistically, it’s clear Villas-Boas is trying to tie the player down and ensure he remains a Spurs player.

Bale hasn’t helped matters by repeated stating his desire to play abroad and after his recent comments on the subject, Villas-Boas may have decided to hand him an ultimatum.

Reports have emerged that the club are prepared to double his wages, currently £75,000 a week to £150,000 a week, making him their highest earner and breaking their current wage structure considerably.

Obviously keeping Gareth Bale is the most important business for Tottenham this summer – whoever they sign, he is simply irreplaceable on every level. But the club and the manager must tread carefully for fear of pushing too hard.

If Bale gets backed into a corner, he may feel he’s being caged or tied down to deal that his agent and representatives will likely advise him is not in his best interest, in the long-term context of his career.

If Bale stays at White Hart Lane next season, I believe it won’t be for the money, it’ll be because he loves the club, enjoys playing for Spurs and he wants to continue his development under Villas-Boas.

Ultimately, Tottenham are going to have to resign themselves to the idea that he’s probably not going to stay any longer than one more season but, if they want to keep him for that long, they ought to not scare him off with pressure to sign a new deal. Bale could earn £200,000 a week or more if he went elsewhere.

Spurs cannot match what Real Madrid and Manchester United can in wages, what they can offer him is a comfortable and stable environment to continue his development for another season and that it what they should be leading with, not extra cash. That is not why he’ll stay but it may end up being why he’ll go.

image: © andybrannan

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