The defensive midfielder doing a more than capable shift at right back, the big man has surprisingly talented feet and the underwhelming nature of British exports to Spain are but three key features of football but reports have emerged today that despite the third example, Barcelona will try to find the exception to the rule.
The Telegraph has an in-depth piece today speculating that the Barcelona sporting board, headed up by spell-check destroyer and sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, have identified Bale as the long-term replacement for Eric Abidal with the club’s chief scout Albert Valentin keeping tabs on the Welshman this season and taking in the 3-1 home win against Fulham in November.
The report speculates that club president Sandro Rosell will postpone a move for wonderkid Neymar until after the 2014 World Cup thus prompting a shift in focus to defensive reinforcements this summer.
The Telegraph touts the move as a response to the doubts over Abidal’s career following his successful liver transplant and the uncertain future of Daniel Alves, with a potential shift in attacking focus to the left wing at Barcelona, suiting Bale who has looked uncomfortable as an orthodox left back.
However, there are a number of obstacles to the deal jumping from speculation to fact foremost of which is Pep Guardiola’s refusal to commit to a new contract with his current one expiring in the summer. He has final say over transfer deals with the sporting board only suggesting them but he has yet to confirm his intentions for the summer transfer window to the board, leading to yet more speculation about his future.
Other reasons include the three years left on Bale’s contract at Spurs (and the resultant transfer fee) and Spurs’ unwillingness to sell their best assets. Daniel Levy said as much in the club’s plc accounts statement last year; “Having quality players means they automatically attract attention from other clubs but I can assure you we have no reason to sell, and every intention of retaining, our key players. We shall simply not entertain any approaches for these players.”
Look out Spurs’ fans; you may be in store for another Modric to United style summer.
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