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Gareth Bale – Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea or Real Madrid?

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Good young talent is hard to find – good young talent in England is even harder to find, so the fact that Gareth Bale is coming along nicely for Southampton AND is 18 months away from the end of his contract is of great importance to a host of clubs in the Premiership (and beyond, if you put on your ridiculous rumours hat).

But who wants Bale, and who will ultimately get him, are two very different questions.


Offered Bale a new contract (he has 18 months left in his old one), but apparently the Welsh wonder has refused to sign it. Rumours only, I’m sure (of the refusal, not the new contract).

Chances of staying: Possible for January, but he’s surely leaving once July comes.

Manchester United

More attractive option than Liverpool (yes, I’m biased), have a bigger network of clubs to give Bale experience in and will probably send him out on loan for an year or so.

Have the money to tempt Southampton, and the financial clout to out-muscle the competition (assuming Chelsea isn’t interested and the Real Madrid rumour is just a rumour).

However, Heinze is just 28, Evra 25 and both look to be solid long-term prospects. Bale won’t be needed for another 2 years, at least.

Chances in January: Slim.
Chances in July: Moderate.


Linked because of Theo, because of Wenger’s policy to nurture young talent and because Arsenal wouldn’t mind cover at the left-back spot (Gallas is a centre-back, remember?).

If they have money to spend, I’d guess that they’re going to spend it somewhere else, so Bale isn’t a priority and they don’t seem to have enough funds for more than 1-2 buys.

Chances in January: None.
Chances in July: Not likely.


Linked with a lot of young players as they try to buy their way into the Champions League (by buying young talent, it must be added). A serious contender because they can offer Bale an earlier starting spot as compared to some of the other clubs, and have the money to pay high wages as well. If Bale wants to go to London, Spurs are at the top of the pile.

Then again, Tottenham have been linked with a lot of players (and I’m not putting much faith in the supposed bid made by Spurs for Bale).

Chances in January: Possible.
Chances in July: Possible.


With Fabio Aurelio and Riise in their ranks, where would Bale play? If, like United, they’re investing in the future I doubt that they have the money to prise Bale away from Southampton (or to challenge a bid made by Tottenham or Manchester United).

Chances in January: None.
Chances in July: Slim.


An ideal recruit for Chelsea, if they can manage to farm him out for a couple of years (or even one) and then replace Bridge with Bale. Thing is, a left-back is not even third on their list of targets (striker, central defender, right-back are priorities).

Chances in January: Slim.
Chances in July: Moderate.

Real Madrid

You’ve got to be kidding me, right? This is absolutely ridiculous. You don’t take a 17-year old kid from Southampton, put him up in Madrid alongside Raul, Cannavaro and Robinho and expect him to settle in 🙂

If they do (they wont), Bale gets loaned out again.

Chances in January: None.
Chances in July: Slim.

Newcastle United

After Tottenham, the only club that can offer to fast-track Bale into the first team (despite David Edgar shining against Manchester United). Would be a smart target too, but if Newcastle are going after defenders wouldn’t they hit Brown and Silvestre first?

Plus will Bale really want to go to injury-stricken Newcastle?

Chances in January: Possible.
Chances in July: Moderate.

Final Verdict

It’s only a matter of time before Bale moves on from Southampton. At present, only Newcastle and Tottenham can offer Bale first-team appearances next season. However, Manchester United have the champions league (and perhaps the title of Premiership champions) to offer, so do Chelsea.

If Bale waits till the summer, a big club will surely get him. If he moves now, he could get some valuable Prem experience, or he could just be shunted about on loan.

My money’s on Bale waiting till next summer, or maybe tying up an agreement with United / Spurs / Chelsea to take him on in the summer.

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Ahmed Bilal created Sportslens in 2006. He is a business consultant and entrepreneur who helps businesses identify and overcome their biggest challenges. He’s also the founder of Football Media, an online advertising agency that specialises in sports and male audience targeting, with a monthly reach of 100m+ sports fans in the UK and US. He’s also the previous owner of Soccerlens.com – a sports news site that reaches 3m+ readers / month.