Reports have emerged that Gareth Bale’s proposed move to Real Madrid is ‘imminent’ after a summer-long saga surrounding the Tottenham ace.
Madrid’s pursuit of Bale, if successful, is expected to cost them in the region of £96 million and with the impending implementation of FIFA Financial Fair Play regulations, the Spanish giants may struggle to explain away their expenditure this summer.
The Los Blancos have already brought in highly rated Spanish starlet attacking midfielder Isco from Malaga for a fee of €30 million. The club are no strangers to world record-breaking transfers fees – their purchase of Cristiano Ronaldo for £80 million in 2009 remains at present the world record fee.
The club have already offloaded Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain to Napoli after Arsenal refused to match the Serie A club’s bid for the 25-year-old who was sold eventually for £34.5 million earlier this month.
Both Benzema and Higuain had underperformed last season and the Frenchman could be sold on if the right offer came in for him. However, the more likely scenario is the sale of Angel Di Maria who, should Bale arrive at the Bernabeu, will effectively be ousted from the first-team proceedings under Carlo Ancelotti.
The 25-year-old winger had been linked with a move to Manchester United but the Red Devils appear to have cooled their interest in recent weeks. Should Bale arrive that would mean the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesuit Ozil, Kaka, Luka Modric, Isco, Di Maria, and Bale would be competing for three attacking midfield positions in the starting XI at Real Madrid.
Subsequently, Spurs’ sale of Bale would likely make it much easier for Arsenal to convince Real Madrid to sell Di Maria and also to convince the player to come to the Emirates. Arsenal’s 3-0 victory over Fenerbahce on Wednesday evening in their first leg Champions League qualification play-off makes their efforts to sign top players slightly less cumbersome than if they’d have lost or drawn, leaving their qualification hanging in the balance for the return leg at the Emirates.
Whether or not Benzema could be convinced to come is, in my estimation, another matter entirely – I am not wholly convinced that a player of his stature would be tempted to swap Real Madrid for Arsenal – unless of course Madrid sign a striker which, at present, doesn’t appear to be on the cards.
The sale of Higuain makes Benzema’s position less tenuous and I think if there’s a way he can stay in the Spanish capital with assurances of first team football he’s going to do that.
Nonetheless, Tottenham’s ‘imminent’ sale of their star man could be exactly the kind of trigger Arsenal need to acquire a player like Angel Di Maria. With the World Cup approaching next summer, no attacking midfielder in his right mind is going to want to fight for his place with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
image: © jansolo09