West Ham boss Sam Allardyce believes Tottenham winger Gareth Bale could be worth upwards of £50million, but is confident his side can keep the Welshman quiet when Spurs visit Upton Park this evening.
Bale, 23, has already struck 21 goals for Tottenham this season and has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid after a string of eye-catching performances.
The Wales international scored in Spurs' 3-1 win over West Ham earlier in the season and Allardyce reckons any suitors will be forced to shell out a vast sum if they wish to prize him away from White Hart Lane in the summer.
“I suppose the world of football outside of this country might decide (how much he is worth),” Allardyce said.
“There might be somebody else from another country that decides he could be the man, so that would inflate the price a little more, rather than people that might just be interested in this country. So who knows.
“I would have thought that Tottenham would want nothing less that £40-50million.”
Despite Bale's impressive spell there are ways to keep the flying winger quiet and Allardyce thinks that stopping the supply to the former Southampton youngster is a good place to start.
He said: “The team has got to provide him with the service that he needs to express that ability. If you take [Lionel[ Messi out of Barcelona people say when you watch him for Argentina he's not the play as at Barcelona.
“There's always going to be a good team around you in terms of delivering and supporting the play and the service that he needs and all the other players are very, very good.”
With Bale identified as the major threat for Andre Villas-Boas' side, who can move up to third place in the Barclays Premier League table with a win against their London rivals, Allardyce also feels it would be dangerous to not consider Spurs' other attacking players.
“We can't just pay particular attention to Gareth Bale, we have to pay attention to a lot of players at Tottenham, certainly on the front line because they're so dangerous in attack,” he said. “[Mousa] Dembele in midfield, terrific player as well. [Clint] Dempsey and [Jermain] Defoe, [Emmanuel] Adebayor, [Aaron] Lennon, Bale.
“They are very, very strong in possession and we must be very good defensively to cope with that. But then of course try and deliver the sort of performances at home we've done on a regular basis this season to cause them a few problems and score a few goals.”
West Ham would leapfrog Norwich and Fulham if they can nullify the threat of Spurs' flair players and secure a win tonight and, more importantly, would move nine points clear of the league's bottom three.