New Bale deal at Spurs to include £50million buy-out clause
Gareth Bale is poised to commit himself to Tottenham for at least another season, but his proposed new contract is understood to include a buyout clause that could allow him to leave next year.
Despite narrowly missing out on a Champions League place for a third straight season, Tottenham want to secure quickly the immediate future of their star player and an announcement is expected imminently.
Bale’s proposed new deal would be worth up to £150,000 a week but, would contain provision for him to leave next summer should an offer come in of more than £50million.
The Wales winger was due yesterday to travel with the Tottenham squad to the Bahamas for an exhibition match against Jamaica on Thursday. Joe Lewis, Tottenham’s billionaire owner, is based in the Bahamas, meaning that the trip will also potentially allow manager Andre Villas-Boas to discuss his summer transfer budget and plans.
Villas-Boas is hoping that Tottenham will recruit a technical director this summer, with Franco Baldini – the former England general manager under Fabio Capello – among the leading candidates.
“We have been outlining the route ahead for what we want to do in terms of the club structures and hopefully the arrival of somebody else in the structure for the recruitment side, a technical director, so hopefully we can take those steps forward,” said Villas-Boas. “We got ever so close, but they [Manchester United, City, Chelsea and Arsenal] will do their job in window, and we will do ours the Tottenham way: scouting properly and look for good grabs in summer window to make it a stronger squad.
“Will the big clubs be able to lure Bale away? It is very very difficult to lure a player of this dimension away. You have to hold on to your best assets. If we want to make it better next season we have to hold on to our best assets and this is what I have been told from the top.”
Daniel Levy, the Tottenham chairman, used his programme notes ahead of his side’s final match of the season to try to reassure supporters that the squad would not be weakened. “Looking ahead to the summer, we shall continue to seek to strengthen and improve the team and to retain key players,” Levy wrote.
Bale was voted Footballer of the Year by both the Players’ Football Association and Football Writers’ Association in recognition of a season in which he scored 31 goals for club and country. His goals helped Tottenham reach 72 points – their highest in the Premier League – but they missed out on Champions League qualification by a point.
The biggest test of Tottenham’s determination to keep Bale this summer is likely to come from Real Madrid, with Carlo Ancelotti – who is expected to replace Jose Mourinho – a big admirer of the Spurs winger.
According to Gylfi Sigurdsson, the Tottenham midfielder, Bale could not be replaced by one player. Sigurdsson said it was “very important” that Bale stayed, adding: “It’s always very important when you keep good players and he is a fantastic player. If he goes, I’m sure the club will get a lot of money for him and hopefully he will be replaced by a few players because I don’t think there will be one player that can replace him because he’s been that good. He was very important for us.”
Sigurdsson blamed Tottenham’s failure to qualify for the Champions League on a small dip in form after they had amassed a seven-point lead over Arsenal with only 10 games remaining. “The feeling is not good, it’s disappointing,” he said. “We have not qualified for the Champions League and that was our aim. We’ve had a record season and got many points but it’s disappointing. If we had won one game which we drew we would have been in the Champions League, but that’s life.
“The margins are small. You just need more consistency, we were very good and then lost a bit of form. That’s what killed us.”