Bale drops a qualified hint about moving on
Welsh winger will consider options if Spurs miss out on Champions' League
Sunday 29 April 2012
Leading clubs in Spain and Italy will be on high alert – and hoping Tottenham Hotspur's indifferent form continues – after Gareth Bale revealed that he will consider his future at White Hart Lane if the club fails to qualify for next season's Champions' League.
"If we don't," the Welsh left winger told BBC TV's Football Focus, "I will have to discuss what's best for myself. I had a taste [of Champions' League] last season and thoroughly enjoyed it. Everyone wants to test themselves against the best players in the world." Bale's current Spurs deal lasts until 2015 and was signed during that Champions' League campaign, but his good form in the first two-thirds of this season saw him stir interest at Barcelona and Internazionale, among others.
The north London club are currently lying fifth in the Premier League, three points behind fourth-placed Newcastle United, and their next three matches are all against teams fighting relegation, starting with this afternoon's visit of Blackburn Rovers. Games at Bolton Wanderers and Aston Villa, both also desperate for points, are then followed by the visit of Fulham on the final day of the League season.
"We know how difficult it is when a team is fighting relegation," Bale said – Spurs lost 1-0 at Queens Park Rangers last weekend despite playing against 10 men in the closing stages – "but we've got the quality in the dressing room and if we play to our best, we know we'll win."
Tottenham have won only three of their last 14 games as their form has dipped from its early-season high. But Harry Redknapp remains optimistic he will hang on to the Welshman. "At the moment he is happy here, a big fish here," the manager said. "He is still learning the game, a young boy, and this is where he needs to be."
However, Redknapp was less sanguine about the prospects of keeping his influential playmaker Luka Modric, who was the subject of several bids by Chelsea last summer and has yet to sign a new contract.
"Last summer it was vital that we kept hold of Luka," he said. "I don't think we will have to do it with people like Gareth Bale this summer. Luka, it's different with him. I don't know what he would do. I would be lying if I said I was sure that he would stay. You don't know."
Spurs' defeat by QPR saw them drop out of the top four and they are now struggling to qualify for the Champions' League but even fourth place may not be good enough if Chelsea win the European Cup final against Bayern Munich since only four English teams will go through.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Blackburn Rovers is on Sky Sports 1 today, kick-off 4pm
Latest in Sport
Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs posts bizarre video of his Miami holiday being invaded by an iguana
British Grand Prix 2015: What time does it start, where can I watch it and are tickets still available?
Women's World Cup 2015: England secure third place as they beat Germany in extra time with penalty by Fara Williams
Why is it that there’s no women’s team at Manchester United? - Michael Calvin
Chelsea transfer news: Diego Costa wants a reunion with £25m Manchester United target Arda Turan... because he loves his kebabs
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 German man found living with 300 rats in tiny apartment
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture