Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale holds his head in his hands (Reuters)
The reported £85 million that Real Madrid have offered Tottenham for Gareth Bale seems to be a silly amount.
We have to remember that Real Madrid are massively in debt themselves but they still seem capable of pulling off these huge deals.
If the offer is genuine though Tottenham would be absolutely crazy to turn it down. This is a player who just few seasons ago they were looking to ship out on loan. Harry Redknapp did not seem sure about him but then Harry doesn't like young players.
When you have just had a new £40 million+ training ground built and you are trying to add an extra 20,000 seats to your ground and somebody comes in and offers you unbelievable, stupid amounts for a player who has only had one very, very good season, you have to ask yourself: are you going to get that offer again at the end of the season or even in January?
Tottenham just have to take the money now when it is on the table. There are no guarantees Bale is going to go out this season and replicate what he did last year.
If he can do it again, then we can start comparing him to Ronaldo and Messi but not until we see his world class performances on a more consistent basis.
It took Ronaldo six seasons and many consistent performances at United for him to become an £80m player and even now when it comes to rumours of him leaving that is again the size of the fee that is being talked about.
Bale has had one season at that level, and the world has gone mad if Real are willing to pay over £80m for him.
Tottenham fans need to look at things with a long-term view. They need to improve their stadium and get the increased funds that will come from that so they can compete financially with the likes of Arsenal and then further down the line Manchester United.
That is what will give them long-term security and the ability to build towards more consistently impressive seasons and regular Champions League football.
One player should not be allowed to hold them back if they can get the sort of game-changing money for him that can transform the club.
Some people might say that Spurs won't be able to get a Champions League spot if they sell Bale, but if they keep him will they have enough money to buy the type of players they need to surround Bale with in any event?
Tottenham have done little in the transfer market this summer but I think if they are going to get into the Champions League then they will get there as a team and not by relying on one player.
They are in a precarious position at the moment, relying so much on Bale, because we have seen in the past that it is teams that win competitions not individuals.
If Bale does go to Real Madrid it will be interesting to see what type of impact he makes. Seeing Bale and Ronaldo in the same side will be interesting. Both players started as wide men but now like to come inside, and the lack of width at Real has been a problem in recent seasons.
Everything is through the middle and they have so many players in that area now with Modric, Ozil, Alonso, Khedira and new signings Isco and Asier Illarramendi while Karim Benzema looks to be the only out and out striker they have so it is going to be a battle to see who plays where.
From a financial perspective the move makes sense for Bale of course but he has to look at the type of football situation he is walking into.
With the fee Madrid are willing to pay, huge things will be expected of him, and he will need to cope with all the politics that goes into being a big-name star at Real Madrid.
Spanish football is a lot more familiar now to British players because we have watched so much of it on television but British players have a mixed history over there so of course there will be some questions as to whether Bale will settle.
Will he adapt to that type of football, that style, that new atmosphere and that huge fee hanging on his neck?
He certainly has a good chance because his game has improved immensely, especially under Andre Villas-Boas who has brought a more continental style to Tottenham. Bale has added more dimensions to his game; he steps inside, he creates, he scores and he has more guile while before he used to just be all about pace.
So it might be the right time for him to leave and test himself against the best players in the world by competing against Barcelona and in the Champions League.
And if the fee is £85m – then it is certainly the right time for Tottenham to cash-in.
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- Gareth Bale
- Real Madrid