As Andre Villas-Boas fights for Tottenham’s place in Europe, he utters the brave hope that English football’s most celebrated player Gareth Bale isn’t going anywhere.
But is Daniel Levy, Tottenham’s pragmatic and extremely business-oriented chairman, really listening? Is he in the mood to shoo away offers from the likes of Bayern and Real and the jaded Barça, which are now said to be heading in the direction of £60m?
Assuming that the astonishing Bale is as good as his word and is indeed happy to linger in north London for a most vital phase of his increasingly extraordinary career, there is a compelling case for Levy to hold his nerve – and remember that players like Bale tend to come as sparingly as one a generation.
What Levy has to balance is the possibility of a record profit and the difference between running a successful business and a potentially great club.