When I wrote last summer that the neutrals amongst us who support slumbering giants but crave another touch-tight Premier League title race should hope Robin van Persie joins Manchester United, I did not envisage that Manchester City would wave their rivals through with a olde world courtesy that really has no place in football. We hoped for another titanic, blood-stained battle and instead got a really sodding dull parade.
The logical chain of thought would surely mean a campaign to see Gareth Bale join Manchester City this summer in an effort to help United's polite and quiescent neighbours find the volume button again. United have somehow surged ahead and the power, pace and precision (Hansen's Rule Of The Triple P) of Bale - surely the most valuable player in the Premier League if we measure purely in pounds - seems the quickest route to bridging that gap and delivering a title race worthy of the billing. And yet, we'd rather see him join Real Madrid.
Actually, we'd rather see him stay at Tottenham but if a number anywhere north of £50m arrives on a fax to White Hart Lane, Daniel Levy may struggle to turn it down even if qualification for the Champions League has been secured. He's even less likely to turn it down if that fax comes from Spain. Being The Magnificent Daniel, he will probably persuade them to throw in an extra £15m for Iago Falque.
Usually, we mourn any drain of talent from the Premier League. We recently compiled a list of still-active players we miss and we genuinely got nostalgic about Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso, Didier Drogba, Cesc Fabregas and Javier Mascherano (Matt Stanger sneaked Christopher Samba in at No. 10 without consultation). As Premier League neutrals, we obviously want to keep the finest footballers in the league we watch and write about. And we frankly bloody love it that Juan Mata, David Silva and Luis Suarez play here and are seemingly more than happy to stay.
And yet we'd like to see Bale at Real Madrid. We'd like to see one of the most dynamic and explosive Premier League players join one of the big old romantic clubs in Europe. He's British, he's brilliant and there's a certain completely irrational pride in him being one of world football's hottest properties. Putting him in the same class as Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo is premature but not utterly, utterly ridiculous - we'll only really know if he belongs in such company when he's playing with Alonso and Mezut Ozil rather than Scott Parker and Aaron Lennon.
With rare exceptions, British players do not leave these shores. This is a fact bemoaned time and time again by those of us who do not understand such limited horizons. Bale seems perfectly placed to be one of those exceptions - with a game not reliant on typically British traits of endeavour or physicality, a naturally grounded and understated personality and intelligence that seemingly makes him smarter than the average Brit(ish footballer).
Ideally, Tottenham build a side that can challenge the Manchester clubs with Bale at its heart. Realistically, he will leave. Hopefully, he can provide an intriguing distraction from the Premier League while trying to release his potential in Madrid. We want it to happen because it never happens.
Bale's transfer to Man utd would be as good as sealing a nuke deal!!Save the world oh lord!- gunn