x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Transfer news: Former Tottenham manager thinks Gareth Bale should stay put

Real Madrid are reportedly ready to break the £80million world-record fee on getting the Wales ace but Glenn Hoddle feels he is not ready to go abroad.

Former England and Tottenham manager Glenn Hoddle feels it would be a mistake for Gareth Bale to join Real Madrid this summer, believing the Wales ace might not yet be ready to move abroad.

Madrid are reportedly willing to break the £80million world-record fee they paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009 to take Bale to the Bernabeu.

Bale is said to be keen to speak to Madrid, although Spurs have insisted the 24-year-old, who signed a new four-year contract at White Hart Lane in June 2012, is not for sale.

Hoddle concedes there's a "price on everyone's head in football" but he feels Bale would be best served staying with Tottenham for now and building on his remarkable 2012/13 campaign which saw him named player of the year by the Professional Footballers' Association and the Football Writers' Association.

Hoddle told talkSPORT: "It's a difficult one but if you're talking about the lad himself, I would definitely, if I was advising him, I would say he's not quite ready to go abroad.

"I think he's had a sensational year, for him to pick the reins up in that form would be nigh-on impossible straight away. I don't feel he's quite ready off the pitch to make that move."

Hoddle, who knows what it is like to leave Spurs and move abroad after swapping the north London side for Monaco in 1987, added: "It's one thing setting a standard, it's keeping the standard which is the hardest thing, the consistency.

"My word how consistent he's been, he's been nine out of 10 every game, some of the goals he's scored have been sensational.

"That's what people want to see in football, they pay good money and a lot of money nowadays to go and Real Madrid's fans will be purring at the thought of having possibly him and Ronaldo in the same team. They can go back and challenge the world again.

"When you go abroad the first four, five, six months could be difficult for him to regain that form and if his family are not with him 100 per cent all those things come into it.

"I just sense that maybe he might go for the wrong reasons. If he wants to go just for football reasons I think it might be better in a year's time or maybe two years' time."

Bale reported for training with Tottenham on Wednesday, amid mounting rumours about the lucrative transfer deal.

The 24-year-old Wales winger, voted player of the year and young player of the year last season by his English Premier League peers, was seen arriving at the club's Enfield training ground, north of London, in a black Mercedes sportscar, television pictures on Sky Sports News showed.

His return to training was being closely watched because of persistent questions about his immediate future.

Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas said during the club's pre-season visit to Hong Kong last week that they were in talks with the highly rated player, who scored 26 goals last season, about a new contract.

He said he was optimistic of reaching agreement on a deal but fuelled speculation that Bale would leave the club after saying that there was currently no agreement.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has also been reported as having set up a meeting with Real president Florentino Perez in Miami next week, where the Spanish club are due to play in a pre-season tournament, to broker a deal.

Bale's family were even said to have met Levy earlier this week to persuade him to allow the player to go, even though he has reportedly not submitted a formal transfer request.

The Daily Mirror claimed Levy was holding out for the best price for Bale and would be prepared to bring back Luka Modric, who left White Hart Lane for the Bernabeu last year in a similarly drawn-out transfer saga.

France legend and former Real player Zinedine Zidane, currently an ambassador for the Spanish capital club, was reported as saying: "If he (Bale) has expressed a desire to join Madrid, then Tottenham should give him permission to speak with us.

"The chance to play for Real Madrid might only come around once in a player's lifetime – and it's understandable that Gareth doesn't want to miss out on it."

Real and Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas added that Bale would be welcomed as he was "one of the top three or four players in Europe".

A number of newspapers said without quoting sources that the winger would join the first-team squad but was unlikely to train because of a muscle injury that ruled him out of the club's two games in Hong Kong.

Tottenham play a friendly against newly promoted French Ligue 1 side Monaco in the prinicipality on Saturday, although it is unclear whether Bale will feature.

Bale, who was born in Cardiff, joined Tottenham from Southampton in 2007 and signed a new four-year contract in June last year.

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE