“There was contact between the club and his agent last year and there is ongoing contact between the club and his agent.
“Talks are ongoing but that doesn’t mean there is an agreement.”
That was what Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas said about the Gareth Bale situation last week. And what interested me most was the fact he used “ongoing” twice, a word that is swiftly becoming the buzzword of the summer.
Just 24 hours earlier, Manchester United boss David Moyes told journalists that “things are ongoing” in his pursuit of Cesc Fabregas.
What is perhaps most interesting about these continuing efforts, is the fact you could argue all are a waste of time. You would be one of life’s pessimists to do so, but in football some pursuits are more likely than others.
There is a growing suggestion that Bale will be gone if not this summer then next; while United’s attempts at signing Fabregas are growing more desperate by the day.
Although their persistence may also suggest they know something we don’t, that if the player had his way he would be reunited with Robin van Persie by now; although the lack of a transfer request and some public utterances to the contrary suggest not.
Similarly would David Moyes really sell Wayne Rooney to one of his biggest rivals? Does he want that to be his first big decision in a job full of them?
And would Liverpool really sell Suarez to Arsenal, and watch him at the closest of quarters terrorise defences in a different shade of red?
All these ongoing pursuits are more likely to fail than succeed. And while I am setting myself up for an almighty fall with that one, can fans really see otherwise?
Perhaps Spurs will keep Bale for one more season and secure the Champions League football that will prompt a long-term stay.
Perhaps success in the transfer market will prompt United to send Rooney wherever he wishes to go.
Perhaps Liverpool will receive an offer too good to refuse for Suarez and perhaps Fabregas will return to England having only recently left.
But then again, perhaps not…
image: © James Boyes