Gareth Bale

The Gareth Bale saga rumbles on with quotes from Iker Casillas, Ledley King and those famous newspaper 'sources.'

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If you missed it the article last night looked at what Roberto Soldado offers Spurs and suggests you won't see much of him on the left hand side of the pitch (opens in new window): What does Soldado offer?
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Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas has told Spanish paper AS: "We still don't know if it's [Bale] official or not. There has been a lot of talk about it in the last few days, just like in every pre-season."

Not we'd like to sign Gareth Bale, we are trying to sign him but 'we don't know if it's official or not.' Interpretation of that could mean what you want using literal translation or a bit of licence. It could mean the only thing to agree on is a fee, it could mean we are trying to sign him but it hasn't happened yet, it could mean we are Real Madrid of course it will happen. It just depends what you want to read into it, the papers love that sort of thing. He went on:

"Last year it was Modric and now it's 'the Bale saga'. The president and Jose Angel Sanchez (Real's director general) always do everything to try and bring the best players to the club. The current squad is complete in every area but if a player like Bale comes along, he'll be welcomed."

That part is an acknowledgement that he is a quality player but backtracks on the initial part of the statement, 'do everything to try' suggests a deal is far from certain. Carlo Ancelotti may not be prepared to talk about Bale even though he has talked about Bale but plenty of other Real Madrid players will, anything that helps to keep the pressure up through the media. They want to gender an air of inevitability.

The Mirror suggest the cost of the move is not welcomed in the Real Madrid dressing room. Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos forced out Jose Mourinho they tell us and go on to give us an account of a dinner in a Los Angeles restaurant with players, staff and directors all present.

Bale became the topic of discussion it is claimed and one of the senior players is reported to have said that he was "surprised that Perez was willing to pay so much for one player" and that another asked, "What about us?"

A third player was adamant that Bale was not needed, and that the squad Carlo Ancelotti already has is strong enough without him.

That sounds like a few either worried about their places or surprise at the cost of the fee, clearly they don't understand the commercial side of football, or it could all be blown out of proportion or made up of course. Sounds like a paper attempting a new angle to suggest they have exclusive news on the saga when in fact it's all pretty meaningless. Others of course will claim it's dressing room unrest but that's only because papers throw in words like 'adamant' when in fact they have no idea of the tone actually used. You takes your pick and makes your choice.

Further reports suggest a £14 million different between the clubs, others £18 million and yet more that the two clubs are nowhere near each other in valuation, that's all before the payment structure question raises it's ugly head.

From a Spurs point of view legend Ledley King suggests the Bale transfer speculation won't affect the other players.

"At this time of the season, you are not sure what's going to happen," King said at the launch of the club's new interactive online game Tottenham Turfies.

"I'm sure every club is the same. As players you learn to deal with that.

"You just get your head down and concentrate on performing your best for the team and that's what the players will be doing."

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