We can't afford £50m Bale, admit Inter

European champions
Internazionale admit that they have been priced out of the market to sign Gareth Bale, who is battling to be fit for Tottenham's mouth-watering Champions' League last-16 clash against Serie A leaders Milan on Tuesday.

Inter have long been linked with Bale following his buccaneering displays down Tottenham's left flank which have won rave reviews at home and abroad – earning him a £50m-plus price tag.

A sensational hat-trick in the San Siro in Tottenham's 4-3 defeat against Inter in the Champions' League group stages, followed by another breathtaking display in the home leg when he ran Inter – and in particular Maicon – ragged in a 3-1 Spurs win, did much to enhance his value and profile.

Bale, who aggravated a back injury in training, will be arguably the most sought-after left-sided player in Europe come the summer but Inter, favourites to sign him a few weeks ago, now say that they are unlikely to renew their interest. "I don't think, at the price we are being quoted, we could afford him," said Inter's director general Ernesto Paolillo. "Not because he's not a great player, he is. But there is a limit to what we can spend. Bale's price is too high, we'll have to discover some other players."

He still believes that others might come in for Bale if Spurs are not in the Champions' League again next season. "Teams who don't get into the Champions' League have problems holding on to their best players. I hope this does not happen to Tottenham."

Spurs go into Tuesday's fixture as underdogs against the seven-time European champions but Paolillo believes they could spring another surprise in the San Siro – if Bale is fit. "Tottenham are very quick, and Italian teams suffer [with] the speed of English sides," said Paolillo. "If Bale can repeat what he did against us, they have a great chance. They are evenly matched. Spurs have a great chance of getting a draw.

"I know Milan are top of the table but I'm not so sure that right now they are any better than we are. Tottenham's organisation impressed me in both legs. My advice to them would be to attack Milan. If they sit back, Milan have some very dangerous forwards like Ibrahimovic, Robinho and Pato. You must not hold back against them."

As well as Bale, Harry Redknapp is sweating on the fitness of a number of other key players. Peter Crouch, so effective in Europe, had to withdraw from England duty last week with a back injury while Rafael van der Vaart was rested for yesterday's trip to Sunderland with a calf strain.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Martin of Coldplay performs live for fans at Enmore Theatre on June 19, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
music
Sport
Dave Mackay lifts the FA Cup in 1967 having skippered Spurs to victory
football
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Arts and Entertainment
As depicted in Disney's Robin Hood, King John was cowardly, cruel, avaricious and incompetent
film
Life and Style
Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber, is now worth $5.3bn
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn