Graeme Souness has cast doubt on whether or not Gareth Bale is likely going to stay at Tottenham Hotspur beyond this summer.
Bale had arguably one of his best performances since his return to North London against Crystal Palace on Sunday, scoring Tottenham’s first two goals and earning a 9.6 on WhoScored as Spurs kept their chances of a top-four finish and a place in the Champions League next season alive.
Although whether or not the Welshman will be around to take part next season, regardless of qualification or not, Souness isn’t certain of. As heard on the Sky Sports Podcast (4:24), Souness felt that wage demands and playing time could end up being major stumbling blocks if the two sides wanted to take their reunion beyond this first year:
“The bigger picture going beyond this year, would Spurs be willing to take the gamble on taking Gareth bill, a fragile, Gareth Bale which he obviously is, he just more or less confirmed that, would have to manage this situation very carefully?
“I’m not sure. You know, given the kind of wages he would want, the ideal scenario for any club taking him with these previous and not playing too many games for you. Would he be prepared to take a contract where pay as you play? Most definitely not. You’re not guaranteed money. So I see him. Where does he go going forward?”
TIF Thoughts on Graeme Souness’ comments about Gareth Bale’s at Tottenham Hotspur
Souness, whilst he may come across as highly critical of Bale during his second spell at the club, does raise a very good point here.
Taking Bale on loan and only paying a reported 40% of his £600,000 per week wages (£240,000) is one thing, but to take the step forward and commit full-time to him and his wages, especially given his fitness issues is a huge change in direction.
That’s not to say that the club and player can’t come to some sort of agreement, whether it be a pay as you play deal, or if Bale has to take a huge pay-cut to make it happen, but either way someone would have to make a major sacrifice to force the issue.