Tottenham Hotspur have well and truly moved on from Gareth Bale.
The Welshman may have won the Champions League twice since signing for Real Madrid in 2013, but Spurs haven’t done too badly themselves.
The north London outfit will finish second in the Premier League this season, an improvement on last season’s third-place finish.
Mauricio Pochettino has built an incredibly exciting squad that includes talent in all areas. Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld in defence, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli in midfield and Harry Kane, the league’s top goalscorer, up front.
The task next season will be to win the title. The days of Spurs aiming just for a top four finish are over.
Madrid made Bale the world’s most expensive player when they paid Tottenham £85.3 million for his services four years ago.
Spurs went shopping
Spurs reacted like a man who’d just won the lottery, spending £110m on seven players.
Erik Lamela, Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Christian Eriksen, Etienne Capoue, Vlad Chiriches and Nacer Chadli all arrived. Today, only Lamela and Eriksen remain.
Spurs missed out on two players
Yet there were two more players on Tottenham’s wishlist. Former Dinamo Zagreb president Zdravko Mamic has revealed that the Lilywhites made a move to sign Alen Halilovic and Tin Jedvaj with the Bale money.
However, the move broke down due to Halilovic’s concerns over the deal.
"Our biggest failure were transfers of Alen Halilovic and Tin Jedvaj," Mamic told Arena, per Goal.
"When they were 16, Tottenham sold Bale to Real for €100m and wanted to buy them for €25m. I met [Tottenham chairman] Daniel Levy in London.
"We started negotiations at €10m and finished at 25, and signed a deal. As I returned to Zagreb, I presented that deal to the Halilovic and Jedvaj families and they agreed.
"But after a few days, Halilovic's father changed his mind saying Alen was not happy with the deal. I went crazy and called the whole thing off. And Dinamo lost because we sold them a couple of years later for much less money."
Spurs won't regret missing out
Barcelona went on to sign Halilovic but he lasted just two seasons at the Camp Nou - one of which was spent on loan at Sporting Gijon and is now on loan at Las Palmas from Hamburg.
Meanwhile, Jedvaj plays for Bayer Leverkusen following a brief stint at Roma.
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