Even If Tottenham Hotspur were able to convince Gareth Bale to sign a new contract this summer, there is every chance the speculation about his future at the club would not stop until the 3rd of September, once the transfer window finally closed.
Spurs are said that they will refuse to the 24-year-old sell him at any price, but if Bale was to come out and say he wanted a move to Real Madrid, who then offered a world record fee for his services, would the London club be able to keep their star man?
If they did sell him, Spurs would need a replacement quickly, and they would have the funds to try and prise Erik Lamela away from Roma.
The 21-year-old enjoyed a sensational season with Roma last year, scoring 15 goals in 33 appearances from his position on the right flank of their attack.
Lamela’s performances marked him out as one of the most exciting young players in Europe, and if he were to continue to improve at his current rate, he will likely be someone targeted by every big club on the continent next summer.
If Spurs lost Bale, they could try and force through a move for Lamela this summer, with the Argentine a good fit for the spot on the right of a 4-3-3 that Bale is expected to adopt next season. Lamela can play in any position across a front three, and would fit with Spurs’ policy of signing young, exciting players.
For the second season in a row, Roma have failed to qualify for European football, which could help Spurs in their pursuit of Lamela. They also now have the Italian club’s former director Franco Baldini, who originally signed the Argentine, on their staff, and that could help with any negotiations.
Clearly Bale is completely irreplaceable, but if the Welshman did leave, Lamela might be the best move Spurs could make, as the 21-year-old has already proven his quality at Roma, and has the potential to become a world class player in the next few years.
image: © Damien Cansse