Tottenham To Discover Real Meaning Of Partnership With Madrid In Summer


Last August, when Tottenham sold Luka Modric to Real Madrid, they were pleased to announce as part of the deal, the creation of a special partnership with the Spanish club. This summer Spurs may discover the real meaning of that relationship.

Gareth Bale, a target for Real Madrid. [Photo: the_DoC_66]Real Madrid cast envious eyes at White Hart Lane last summer and tempted Luka Modric  to join them at the Bernabéu Stadium. The loss of Champions League football at Tottenham opened the door and Madrid forced it wide. After much media speculation, a strike by the player and protracted negotiations the deal was struck. Tottenham received £29.3 million and the opportunity to develop a partnership with their Spanish rivals.

The Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, was delighted to announce the deal and commented on the club website,

"“Luka has been a terrific player for us and, whilst we preferred not to part with him, we are pleased that it is to Real Madrid, a club with which we now look forward to sharing a long and productive partnership.”"

Tottenham reported that the partnership agreement with Real Madrid was in respect of players, coaching, best practices and commercial relationships, similar to a number of agreements Tottenham in place with clubs around the world.

The Real Madrid President, Florentino Perez Rodriguez, said,

"“The strong relationship and affinity between our two clubs has resulted in the cementing of a longer-term partnership and the successful transfer of Luka Modric…….. and look forward to working closely with Tottenham in the coming years.”"

The announcement reminds me of British Prime Ministers talking up the ‘special relationship’ Britain has with the United States. The US, on the other hand, don’t ever appear to be all that enthusiastic about the relationship. It is the same with this footballing partnership between Spurs and Real Madrid – Tottenham will be all in favour of it but to Real, it serves little purpose.

Tottenham, however, may discover the true meaning of that partnership come the summer.

New Manager

For some months, it has been accepted in media and footballing circles that Jose Mourinho would be leaving Real at the end of the season. In typical Mourinho fashion, the manager has kept his plans close to his chest, although Chelsea are thought to be a possible option for him. Neither has it stopped speculation on who would replace him at the Bernabéu with the BBC website reporting recently that a decision will be made at the end of the season.

Real Madrid are reported top have compiled a short-list of candidates, the press has come up with suggestions while the bookmakers have drawn up their list and Andre Villas-Boas is reported to be included on all three. He is accepted as one of the favourites to replace his former colleague.

Come the season’s end. Tottenham receive a call from their new partners, “We would like to talk to Andre Villas-Boas about taking over as our new manager.” What will Spurs do? They are unlikely to stand in the way of their manager linking up with their new partners, after all we have a ‘special relationship’.

Star Player

Tottenham supporters have a constant concern about losing a ‘star’ player. For a number of years it has become a regular occurrence, since Glenn Hoddle decided to experience football in France in the late-1980s. With Spurs’ inability to secure trophies or Champions League football, there has been a constant drain of top names in recent years from Teddy Sheringham, Michael Carrick, Dimitar Berbatov to Modric last year.

Now, with the possibility of Tottenham again missing a Champions League finish, the speculation over Gareth Bale grows by the day.

Over the past weeks many former Tottenham players and managers have spoken of Bale remaining at the Lane with Tottenham and Wales ‘Legend’ Cliff Jones being reported in the Tottenham Journal last month saying,

"“Of course Gareth and everyone linked with the club wants to be in the Champions League and he wants to be playing football at the highest level, but I think he will be at Tottenham for a while yet.”"

More recent reports are less optimistic with Tottenham anxious to offer him an improved contract. A weekend report in the Sunday Express suggested that Bale would ‘quit Tottenham this summer if they fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.’ They added that such an eventuality would trigger a ‘release clause in his contract’.

Bale has many suitors both in England and across Europe but Real will always be one of the leading options for the Welshman.

Will Real Madrid again cast covetous glances towards Tottenham and use their special partnership with the White Hart Lane club to extricate Bale from Spurs? Real will try every trick in the book to get their player so Tottenham can prepare themselves for a full on assault throughout the summer transfer window.

The worrying concern for Tottenham fans is that from the Chairman’s viewpoint ‘money talks’ and if he gets a substantial offer for manager and/or player, he will quite happily accept it.

How will Spurs Benefit?

As part of the special partnership, Tottenham will have the pleasure of a friendly match against the Real Madrid team containing two of their former players and managed by their last manager.

It’s only right that the Spanish club should deliver on its side of the bargain, sorry, ‘special partnership’ after Tottenham being so understanding and co-operative in the twelve months of the partnership’s existence.