What exactly has possessed Glenn Roeder to go after Gareth Bale, I’m not sure. My best guess is that either he he knows something about Manchester United’s supposed interest in the Southampton left back that we don’t, or he’s betting that Manchester United won’t be interested in picking up Bale after all.
Gareth Bale is tipped to leave Southampton this summer after rumours that he had turned down a new contract. Popular opinion is that Manchester United will come knocking in the summer, but there are three possible scenarios to the deal, which involve Manchester United, Newcastle, Tottenham and Arsenal.
1. Manchester United and Arsenal are not interested
Tottenham or Newcastle United? It would be a stepping stone towards his Champions League ambitions, so he might just go for the London life as opposed to the bigger stadium and fan support that Duff went for.
2. Manchester United are interested and have money
If United are interested, it’s tough to stop them. Arsenal will be loathe to spend the sort of money Man Utd will be willing to pay, and it would all depend on whether United ditch Silvestre / Heinze and whether United are able to put together the money to buy Hargreaves and a striker apart from Bale.
Assuming they have the cash, they’ll get their player.
3. Manchester United aren’t interested / don’t have the money
If money isn’t the issue, I think Bale would end up going to Arsenal. Wenger’s recent records with youngsters is great and United already have a bunch of youngsters coming through on a conveyor belt. The next season will see competition for places increase in the defence, so Bale will really have to fight for a spot.
Where will Bale go?
Ideally Bale would go to a club that guaranteed him the best mixture of playing time, wages and quality of competition. UEFA Cup qualification will be very important for both Tottenham and Newcastle in securing their transfer targets. Man Utd and Arsenal will have to worry about how to fit Bale into their sides, and for my money there’s more space at Arsenal than at United.
We could always make space for him, or send him out on loan to Newcastle…