A passion that drives Gareth Bale like a sweetly struck Titleist Pro | Football

BALE OUT!

If Gareth Bale had his way, he would have been firmly embedded at Jiangsu Suning by now, perhaps mastering Nankinese, exploring museums with wondrous collections of Ming and Qing imperial porcelain and straining every well-preserved sinew to get on the end of passes from Wu Xi, Yang Boyu and the rest of the lads. But nasty Real Madrid thwarted that dream more than a year ago and now Bale is on the hunt for a new gig. It’s a passion that drives him like a sweetly struck T!tleist Pro.

Happily for the 31-year-old clipped winger, a vacancy appears to have arisen at Tottenham Hotspur, where something about being completely outplayed at home by Everton seems to have wounded people’s pride. Apparently that is not what José Mourinho had in mind when he told his team to act like a bunch of C-words. In a bid to reassert themselves as a proper football team and get patrons yearning for a return to the match day cheese-room-and-special-tunnel experience, Daniel Levy is said to have entered talks about adding an extra splash of glamour to Mourinho’s squad in the form of a player whom no less a manager than Zinedine Zidane seems to regard as one of the world’s foremost irritants.

“Gareth still loves Spurs, it’s where he wants to be,” declared the Mr 15% of a player who ranks the Milk Cup runners-up medal that he won with Tottenham in 2009 as one of the most precious items in some old skip round Chigwell way. Word of Bale’s potential arrival on loan from Madrid is believed to have generated great excitement among his fellow Welshman Ben Davies – until news emerged that Spurs are also hoping to conclude a deal for Sergio Reguilón, a left-back who is better than Davies. Not that that’s any guarantee he’ll play, as Danny Rose might confirm.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Historically Villa footballers have won the top trophy before, the [Big Cup] in 1982. I’m not saying I’m going to lead the team to that but that has to be the aim” – Dean Smith gets his chat on with Paul Doyle and reveals he’s dreaming big at Aston Villa.

Your man, Dean Smith. Photograph: Rui Vieira/NMC/EPA

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Football Weekly: come get some. And then get some more.

FIVER LETTERS

“I know everyone keeps wanging on about how expensive it would be to brring the Prodigal (alternative to) Son from Madrid and play him in Tottenham’s front line, but surely Spurs could use some of the Bale Money they got about seven years ago for the funding of this enterprise?” – Harkarn Sumal.

“I see that Tottenham are interested in signing Bas Dost. What a great TV series that was! The stifling, claustrophobic atmosphere! The great acting even if you needed subtitles and the inevitable tragic ending. Das Boot was pretty good too. Thank you Amazon” – Patrick Fahy.

“So Jack Grealish’s new contract should see him stay at Villa Park till he’s 30, a full 24 years after joining the club as a kid. It’s great to see such loyalty from the Republic O’ Ireland underage international” – Sean De Loughry.

“Jizz Horncamp? (Tuesday’s News, Bits and Bobs). Fnaaar. Snigger. Chortle” – Chris Ware, 45.

“In response to Ferg Slade’s prediction of tales of knack accompanying ineptitude (Tuesday’s Fiver). Not a physical injury to myself, but once, at our local five-a-side complex, I scored two well taken own goals to turn a 4-3 win into a 5-4 defeat, and came off the pitch to be told my camper van had caught fire in the car park” –Jon Millard.

Send your letters to the.boss@theguardian.com. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is … Jon Millard.

NEWS, BITS AND BOBS

Macclesfield Town face extinction after a judge agreed to a winding-up order after being told the football club owe more than £500,000.

Fifa have done the sums and worked out how much Covid-19 has cost football so far. The answer: £11.1bn has been wiped from the books of the club and international game.

Kalidou Koulibaly is going to cost Manchester City £80m so they are reaching into the bargain bin. Atlético Madrid’s Giménez will cost a £109.8m release clause and Sevilla’s Diego Carlos is available for a piffling £68.7m.

Emiliano Martínez has waved a fond goodbye to Arsenal after completing his £20m move to Aston Villa. “I suffered through my time at Arsenal,” he wailed. “I tried to show young goalies how work pays off”.

The USA! USA!! USA!!!-based consortium wanting to buy West Ham have been turned down once again by Gollivan but will be back for more. They will have to stump up more than £400m.

And Juve manager Andrea Pirlo finished second in his Italian FA coaching exams, with Sampdoria boss Thiago Motta cramming hard to finish top of the class. Who do Juve play first? Yes, that’s right.

STILL WANT MORE?

Bayern and Dortmund loom large over the rest of the Dr Oetker’s as Leipzig and Leverkusen adjust after high-profile departures, writes Andy Brassell in his Bundesliga season preview.

Eddie Niedzwiecki, Jim Smith and Ronnie McFall’s long-awaited returns, the many players called Adama Traoré and Chris Kirkland’s cap feature in the latest edition of The Knowledge.

The Knowledge
Strong managerial look from Ronnie McFall, right. Composite: Inpho/News Images/Shutterstock/Getty Images

Check all the latest deals from the top European leagues in our snazzy women’s and men’s transfer interactives.

Is Dele Alli going to be used as a makeweight in the Gareth Bale deal? The Rumour Mill thinks he might be.

Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!


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