A Bale for Rooney swap. Would it be so bad?
By Oliver Wilson
The rumour and speculation that surrounds Gareth Bale and Wayne Rooney’s futures this summer has gone from being an intriguing tale of world record transfer fees, to a self perpetuating mess of Chinese whispers and stalemate discussions between presidents, chairmen and managers.
All in all, many of us are getting a little bored of it.
With Manchester United re-joining the hunt for the Welsh star, while Roy Hodgson has revealed that Wayne Rooney – who missed United’s Community Shield victory with an apparent shoulder injury – is up, running and raring to play for his country on Wednesday without any sign of an injury holding him back. Rooney, it would seem, is still desperate to get out of Manchester.
While United may be happy to lose the England star, they certainly don’t want to lose him to a Premier League rival, particularly Jose Mourinho and Chelsea, who many believe that signing the striker would be enough to tip the title race in their favour even before a ball has been kicked.
While letting Wayne head to South London is out of the question, moving him to the North of London could be just the ticket to solve the team’s problems and could open the door for David Moyes to bring in the landmark signing he and the fans have so eagerly anticipated this summer.
If United are genuine about making a bid to snap up Tottenham’s Welsh superstar- a bid that would most likely require a world record sum to be paid to out-muscle Real Madrid in their bid to buy Bale – Rooney could be the key to avoiding splashing out £90million this summer, while also offloading a troubled striker who obviously doesn’t want to remain at the club.
Yes a swap deal of Rooney plus a small [or very large] financial incentive could be the perfect solution to their transfer problems this summer, but importantly, it would fit Tottenham too.
Spurs, despite their continued push over the last two seasons to get back into the Champions League, once again see find themselves playing in Europe’s sister competition, the Europa League, this coming season. Bale is a player, much like Luis Suarez, whose skill and talent warrants a move to a Champions League caliber club. Tottenham have held onto Bale for as long as they can and, with the amount of money being offered for the player, should capitalize on their asset and reap the financial rewards.
They also have another problem within their squad. They lack an out-and-out goal scorer. Jermaine Defo can carry some of the load in front of goal at a Premiership club, but he’s not the type of player who will be able to take Spurs into the top four again on his own. He needs another player to be able to add to his low double-digit goal tally each season. With Bale gone, there would only Roberto Soldado to help the English striker provide the goals for his club, with Emmanuel Adebayor proving to be something of a wasted purchase for much of last season, while Clint Dempsey has scarpered back to America to play in Seattle. Soldado may need time to settle in the Premier League and learn André Villas-Boas' new system. There is no certainty that the Spaniard will fit the English game, Rooney would.
If Tottenham could entice Rooney – which would be a huge IF considering they aren’t in the Champions League – and receive enough money to be able to go out and buy more quality to build a squad around Wayne, a top four finish above Arsenal would be a real possibility, especially if the final want away man of the summer, Luis Suarez, could also be tempted to White Hart Lane, as is being suggested.
Bale, would no doubt cost United an additional £35 million on top of the £30-£40 million valued striker as Daniel Levy looks to gain the maximum amount of money for the 24-year-old, and it’s unknown whether the Red Devils would be willing to give up such a fortune for the midfielder. The move, though, would prevent United from strengthening a fellow title contender, would allow them to rid the club of a player who doesn’t want to be there anymore, while replacing him with one of football’s more likeable characters, and would give David Moyes his big summer transfer.
United, on the other hand, have enough depth at centre forward to be able to afford to let Rooney leave, with Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez all more than adequate replacements for the Englishman, while their selection of wingers – Nani, who is looking to leave the club, Antonio Valencia, who had a quiet season by his standards last year, and Ashley Young, who starts the season out injured – would undoubtedly be bolstered by Bale’s arrival.
Tottenham would be landing a landmark name in English football, a proven goal scorer who could be the missing link in their forward line. Rooney can be a finisher and a playmaker for the club, and thanks to Andre Villas-Boas and Levy’s astute buys this summer, Spurs have a strong enough midfield that, although weaker without Bale, should be able to cope without the Welshman in their ranks – as long as a player such as Rooney replaces him. Levy may not get his world record transfer fee but he would get a signing that could change Tottenham Hotspur’s future.
There is a great deal of potential for both clubs two wrap up their transfer sagas of the summer and get top class players in return who can improve their sides. A Rooney and Bale swap could be just the ticket.