In a summer where even Cristiano Ronaldo’s future has been put under the microscope, there has still been one story that has dominated the headlines throughout the transfer window, with Real Madrid’s pursuit of Gareth Bale regularly back page news all over Europe.
The constant speculation in England has only subsided when the sagas involving Wayne Rooney and Luis Suarez have taken the focus off Bale, but with both players now set to stay at their clubs, the interest in the Welsh forward’s future might intensify further.
Manchester United have made it abundantly clear that they will not sell Rooney to Chelsea at any price this summer, and although plenty of sides have said similar things in the past before selling a player, the Premier League champions have the resources and reputation to stand by that decision.
At Liverpool, Luis Suarez has apparently conceded defeat in his attempts to force through a move to a Champions League side, and is now hastily backtracking with platitudes about the supporters’ role in convincing him to stay.
Meanwhile Bale and Spurs have mostly stayed quiet, and the consensus seems to be that the player is keen, if not desperate, to leave, and if a bid of significant magnitude comes in from Real Madrid, then he will be sold.
The key factor is now whether Real Madrid have the resources and the inclination to spend around £100million on a player many would say they do not really need. Spurs have done well throughout the saga to make their position fairly clear, they do not need or want to sell Bale, so Real Madrid have to stump up the cash on their terms for him to leave.
The one other area of interest will be whether Bale speaks out in an attempt to push through a move, and this is likely where the focus will be in the press. It will not be a pleasant few weeks if the saga remains unresolved until the end of the window, and with Rooney and Suarez unlikely to take focus off Bale, the pressure on the Welshman to talk about his future could become uncomfortably intense.
image: © Jan S0L0