The 2012-13 Barclay’s Premier League season saw Gareth Bale become one of the most in demand footballers in Europe. Players, pundits and managers alike lavished praise on the Welshman and he was awarded a number of honours including PFA Players’ Player of the Year and most recently Football Writers’ Player of the Year.
His club, Tottenham Hotspur, is keen to keep hold of him for at least another season, yet failure to qualify for the prestigious UEFA Champions League could result in his departure. Here I consider the various negotiation levers available to both Bale and Tottenham in what could be this summer’s main transfer saga.
Trade-offs and Compromises
Bale is likely to leverage his popularity to obtain a higher salary. His current terms are worth £100K per week. Clubs such as Real Madrid could offer up to £200K. The question here is, how important is money to someone already earning a significant amount? A 50 per cent increase may be enough to persuade him to stay put. Advantage Bale
At 23 years old, Bale has up to a decade of high quality performances to offer. He is not desperately seeking a last big pay off and has time on his side should both parties fail to find an agreement. Advantage Bale
- Player Reputation
As a Welsh international, Bale is unlikely to win any World Cups and will have to rely on his club career for trophies. Football is a fickle business and the opportunity to compete at the highest levels may never come again. Advantage Bale
- Transfer Fee
The more any club pays for Bale, the less they can afford to offer him as a salary. Clubs usually try to run down a target’s contract before putting in an offer to ensure a lower price; Bale has three years remaining on his contract. Advantage Tottenham
- Prestige and Trophies
Real Madrid and Manchester United are both reportedly interested in Bale. However, he has recently spoken about his attachment to the North London club. If Tottenham invest in new players and offer Bale captaincy he may decide to stay another 12 months. Not having to uproot his family would also be a plus.Advantage Both
- Contract Length
Although Bale has three years remaining on his present deal, Tottenham would be wise to offer him a new, improved contract to protect the value of their greatest asset. Advantage Both
Meeting Half Way
Gareth Bale does not come across as a player motivated purely by financial gain. In this context both himself and Tottenham can work together to reach a deal that rewards each side. I would predict him signing a new, longer contract on an improved salary with an agreed break clause if the club’s KPIs not met within 12 months. The latter would satisfy both parties and ensure that the player retains his value and remains motivated.