The Gareth Bale-back-to-Spurs rumours have once again caught on like wildfire, so where exactly does Tottenham stand on the never-ending speculation?
It’s like watching a Game of Thrones episode you’ve already seen over and over. Everybody knows the outcome but, invariably, people watch it anyway.
As much of a forgone conclusion as Spurs finishing ahead of Arsenal, the rhetoric about Bale’s prospective move back to North London is, like a broken record, being played on repeat.
With the transfer market officially open (as of midnight, May 16 BST), the Sun, along with other publications, are acting like a lovesick teenager hung up on their ex-girlfriend.
Even with a discounted £10 million loan and reduced wage bill on the table, Bale’s return to Hotspur Way is less likely than a Spurs supporter missing the Champions League final.
Bale still has three years left on his Madrid contract but said, even after being completely ostracized and left out of the squad by Zinedine Zidane, he has every intention of seeing his commitment through. The 29-year-old Welshman says he wants to leave Madrid with “dignity”, and will do everything in his power to honour his contract.
If the only stipulation for Spurs was the £10 million asking price, the potential reward would far outweigh the comparatively low financial risk.
However, Bale is currently earning over £600,000 per week, of which Spurs would have to pay about half, between £250,000 and £300,000. The math simply doesn’t add up, even for a player so highly coveted and adored by Spurs’ faithful.
Bale returning to Spurs is quickly becoming a narrative that belongs more in a Disney script than on the back page of any newspaper. The thought, while appealing from the perspective of nostalgia, is becoming increasingly whimsical.
Instead, Spurs are focussing their attention, and rightly so, on cajoling players like Julian Brandt, a younger, healthier and much more affordable option.
Clearly, after repeated failures to get the deal done, Tottenham have moved on to potential transfers that would have more long-term benefits.
It’s high time the outlets responsible for perpetuating these rumours follow suit.