In what could be the biggest week of his career and is almost certainly the biggest transfer in football history, Tottenham’s Gareth Bale has apparently gone AWOL.
The forward who is the subject of a world record transfer bid of £86m from Real Madrid was initially given two days off by the London club to go to Marbella and finalise personal terms with the Spanish giants, but what followed is a bit of a mystery.
The first of his away days meant that he didn’t attend the clubs 1-0 win over Swansea on Sunday, that was agreed by manager Andre Villas-Boas but his absence wasn’t authorised this morning when he didn’t show up at either the club or the team training session.
No reason for his absence has been given, but rumours are beginning to circulate suggesting that the 24-year-old Professional Footballers' Association and Football Writers football of the year is ‘fuming’ at the way the deal has been handled.
Late yesterday it emerged that the Spanish club had erected a stage at which to present the player to Real fans, shortly after news broke that a second bid had been lodged with the club putting the move in jeopardy, what is yet unknown is the identity of the second bidder although many believe it is Manchester United who showed interest early in the transfer window.
The argument as to whether or not Bale is entitled to feel disgruntled at the handling of the deal remains a tricky one, on one hand he will be keen to sign the deal and get to grips with his new team as soon as possible, but he can’t risk annoying the fans or his current teammates just in case terms aren’t finalised and the transfer breaks down, for Spurs however they must look after themselves and no player is bigger than the club, they must make sure that his loss is covered and that Tottenham’s aspirations aren’t diminished by losing the player.
Another thing that would normally be considered would be the fee, but since the offer is astronomical compared to the £10m they paid Southampton for the player in 2007, I can’t see that will be much of an issue.
It seems to be the most enthralling of the summers transfer stories, and reading between the lines it’s clear to me that Bale wants to move on, sadly his destiny is not his own and if the second bid is taken seriously this could go on until deadline day on Monday.
image: © James Boyes