While Tottenham Hotspur fans are more likely to be annoyed, rather than significantly worried about reports in Spanish newspaper Marca suggesting Gareth Bale is on the brink of a move to Real Madrid, should they also be concerned to see their club embark on a spending spree well outside their normal transfer outlay?
Perhaps, but more likely it is a gamble on keeping him long-term, qualify for the Champions League, and the money will be well spent in also giving themselves a better chance of getting the player to stick around.
Paulinho was signed for a reported fee of £17 million, with Nacer Chadli following for £7 million and Roberto Soldado apparently on the brink of a £26 million move to White Hart Lane, which would bring Spurs’ outlay up to around £50 million before the end of July.
In recent years Spurs have been prepared to spend in the summer transfer window, but nearly always balanced it out by selling players like Dimitar Berbatov and Luka Modric for substantial fees, and fans might have worried this was set to happen again this summer with Bale.
However the situation is different, and Spurs are in a position this summer where their best option might well be to spend big money and cling on to Bale.
With three years left on his contract, Bale is likely to be just as valuable in the transfer market next summer, and Spurs could see that with a few well-judged additions, they have the side and the manager to push into the top four next season.
With that in mind, they might consider the risk of spending Bale’s likely transfer fee from next summer this year, in the hope that having these new players alongside the Welsh forward can fire them into the Champions League.
This is risky in several ways of course, Bale could get injured or fall dramatically out of form, leaving Spurs outside the top four and without the asset they had hoped would recoup the money spent this summer.
However it is a risk that is worth taking, as if the likes of Paulinho and Soldado join Bale and help Spurs into a Champions League place, they will be far better set to replace the Welsh player when he leaves.
There is also the safety net of the additional TV money this season, which might also explain their net outlay in the transfer market.
Their spending might have no bearing at all on Bale’s future, but if Spurs spend wisely this summer and keep Bale, they will have their best squad in a generation, and that is worth gambling for.
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