The footballer formally known as Gareth Bale
I still don't believe that the Gareth Bale to Real Madrid transfer is as emotionally messy and contractually chaotic as the mainstream media would have us believe. What is fuelling the confusion further is the selective mindset of us - the supporters - choosing what to believe and what to dismiss. It's all a massive hyperbole of sound-bites, guesswork, reading between the lines and purposely placed disinformation. How is one meant to decipher any of it into something tangible? You can't. You can try (like I've done a dozen times and will do so again below). If you don't, then you're taking everything at face value, even if none of it makes any linear sense.
The unrelenting coverage is self-fulfilling. It's there to push this saga to it's conclusion and generate headlines and coverage via tv, websites, radio etc.
I think there are certain elements of this saga that are undeniable. Simply using pragmatism, there's no need for hard evidence, just common sense.
We have discussed a deal with Real Madrid because Real Madrid have placed a bid. This might have taken some time. We might have rejected them on more than one occasion. We might have attempted to negotiate a deal that includes one of their players. Regardless of the details, they bid. We have accepted which means the money offered meets our valuation of the player. At this late stage and the silence and contradictions from even our own (Andre Villas-Boas) would suggest so.
If you believe that the entirety of this summer's narrative (I apologise profusely for using that word having banned myself from using it, but it's as irritating a word deserving to describe the situation) has been completely and utterly made up because:
a) Madrid are trying to force Spurs to accept a bid and force Bale into handing in a transfer request, as Spurs are unwilling to listen or sell
b) Bale's agent is attempting to do the same as above
c) No bid has been made, no deal is in place. Bale *is* injured and there's a marketing conspiracy to elevate Tottenham's status in world football
Then have a word with yourself.
At some point in the past month or two, Spurs and Madrid agreed a fee. The much publicised issue of payment is where most of the truth is festering.
And that's it. That's all that actually matters. Spurs are willing to sell, Madrid want to buy, Bale wants the move. It won't complete until both clubs agree and Bale is probably anxious about it considering what the move means to him having been so close yet so impossibly far from seeing it conclude.
There are other nice to knows.
You could argue that selling Bale before we sign any 'replacements' isn't a strong enough reason to delay the transfer unless both clubs have agreed to it. Unlikely, thanks due to the fact that Madrid are behaving like a teenage girl that has got all fizzy down below for the first time ever.
Manchester United's interest is just a ploy by Levy to pressure Madrid. I cannot fathom a scenario where we allow Bale to move to another English club. Not unless money is the only object of Levy's desire - if that was the case, this particular scenario would result in World War Tottenham. It would make a mockery of us all. But then reality whispers something about Utd struggling to sign two Everton players so £100M + is not going to happen, is it?
That scaffolding that went up in the Santiago Bernabéu had nothing to do with Raul's return. Madrid we're making assumptions, possibly part of their every day arrogance or to pressure Spurs. If it's the latter, they should know better than to attempt to poke Daniel Levy in the eye. The Adidas / Real Madrid website and the availability of the number 11 Bale shirts - again, another display of arrogance or simply the inability to retain some professionalism with the transfer. Would suggest Bale has agreed personal terms with them.
Take a step back and stand on the outside of all this, we - as a club - might have decided long ago that Bale being sold this summer is the best thing for the club (ENIC's standpoint). So although it looks like we're not willing to sell the player, we agree to do so when it reaches a near recording breaking fee. Once more, doesn't matter. The fact is, whatever the accepted bid is, it will serve the purpose of satisfying Spurs and the player.
I do like to think Levy is back to his Machiavellian (another banned word returning) best. String Madrid along all summer, not agreeing to their payment plan, then pull the plug at the end leaving Arsenal without hope in signing the Madrid players they've targeted and Bale remaining at Spurs. Madrid will then have failed to sign their c**k extension, unable to flap it around in the face of Neymar's Barcelona.
I jest. The money is so much that for a single player, with the way modern football is geared to work, it is never going to be rejected. Retaining him no matter the bid is something that doesn't play out in the real world.
This deal could fall apart. Although the money at stake would suggest that Levy is waiting for Madrid to hit the point where he'd be content to rubber stamp it.
I'm not sure that fact has ever changed in the past several weeks. But alas, the media want to tell us about the emotional state of a furious and angry Bale, AWOL from training (no proof of this at time of writing). This then leads to that selective nature of some of our supporters, preferring to believe the player is 'on strike' and then abusing him, deciding he's besmirched the club.
Remember, the media report the deal is done then report the player is upset the deal hasn't been completed. Don't behave as though your mind is automatically re-set each morning with your memories wiped as you consume yet more unsubstantiated nonsense from outlets that simply want you to click through to their site for advertising revenue.
As for Bale himself, he can't comment on this. People expect a statement. You'll get one when the window shuts. If he stays or if he goes. Anything being attributed to him has been indirect. Note how he's never associated with any quotes. I'm not going to point a finger here, but think about what's at play - money. It's central to everything.
Also, the player himself won't say or do anything to jeopardise a move. He's under contract at Spurs but the most important element in all of this is Bale himself. If he wants out - as much as he might adore Tottenham Hotspur, as much as he might respect us - he's going to hope the club agree to sell him.
He's not behaving petulantly. He's probably doing exactly what the club are asking him to do. The manner in which this breaks as a story is simply down to the perception the media want to report it as. Much like every thing this summer, because nobody really knows what's going on, most of it is made up by connecting the dots. Most of those dots don't even exist.
People actually suggesting Bale needs to say something or should have said something by now are living in realm of fantasy. He's not disrespecting us - the fans - he's considering our position as a club and his position as a sought after footballer. It's your problem if you can't handle it.
Do I still believe this deal will happen?
Yes. Sadly I do. If it doesn't, happy days. We'll have him for another season and we'll have some team with him part of it. But that's a scenario I'd rather not entertain. Would be more joyous to experience if I'm proved wrong.
Daniel Levy is looking out for the club, regardless of your opinion on him, he's not going to allow Madrid to mug us off and the beauty of all this is little old Tottenham are in the driving seat. Everyone else involved has to conform to what we want. Then it ends, one way or the other. Until then, you're not forced to be told what to think by the media. All of the above is just my opinion. Much like everything below in the comments section will be yours.