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Top five: Gareth Bale replacements

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Bale could walk away from Spurs this summer. (©GettyImages)
Bale could walk away from Spurs this summer. (©GettyImages).

With Real Madrid continuing their pursuit of Tottenham star Gareth Bale, the north London outfit are facing up to the very real possibility of starting the 2013/14 Premier League season without their most prized asset.

Here, we look at the players that Spurs could turn to in an attempt to fill the void left by the Welsh wing wizard, should he complete a move to the Bernabeu this summer.

Javier Pastore

The most recent man to find himself linked with a move to White Hart Lane is Argentine attacker Javier Pastore.

The 24-year-old was the cream of the crop at Palermo, setting Serie A alight and earning himself a move to big spenders Paris Saint-Germain in 2011.

Pastore has found himself dipping in and out of form since moving to the French capital but recent rumour has it, if Bale does in fact leave for the Bernabeu, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and boss Andre Villas-Boas will set their sites on the PSG starlet.

Pastore does possess a whole host of talents which would make him very popular with the Spurs fans - fantastic vision, quick feet and a a keen eye for finding the back of the net.

Pastore did reiterate his desire to remain at PSG at the end of the season, but as seen so much in football such words often mean very little.

A taste of what Javier Pastore could have to offer the Premier League below. 

Angel di Maria

Di Maria is another man from the Argentine contingent who could find himself plying his trade in the north of London next season.

A lot of speculation has suggested that any deal for Bale will see Di Maria come the other way, but if this is not true then it could well be a very astute piece of business to re-invest some of the reported £80 million back into the Real Madrid winger.

The former Benfica man has been one of the key attacking threats for Madrid in recent seasons, but it would seem as if incoming Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is ready to let him go, and he certainly possess the necessary tools to be a success in the Premier League.

Di Maria would certainly go some way in replacing the creative spark left by Bale should he decide to leave, and at 25 years of age, the winger should be entering the peak of his powers.

Here is some footage of Di Maria at his best.

Bernard

The diminutive Brazilian caught the attention of some of Europe's elite recently after enjoying an extremely successful campaign back in his native Brazil with Atletico Minero.

The likes of Arsenal and Porto have been heavily linked with Bernard in the last week but as of yet no formal offer has been made from either club, and it is certainly a possibility that Spurs will look to snatch a deal away from their north London rivals should Bale be sold.

The little Brazilian, like so many before him, has fantastic close control and dribbling ability, gliding past opposition as if they were not there.

Bernard has the potential to emulate his club colleague Ronaldinho and make the successful transition from Brazil to one of the European elite leagues, making his mark as one of the most dangerous attackers in the football world. But can Tottenham snap him up before another team does?

Bernard pulling off a sublime assist to set up teammate Jo, here.

 

Jese Rodriguez

Another man from the Real Madrid contingent who could interest Levy and Franco Baldini, is Spanish youngster Jese Rodriguez.

Operating predominately from the wing, Jese has established himself as one of the brightest talents in Europe. But with Madrid's vast array of senior attacking options ahead of him, he has found it extremely difficult to break into the starting XI.

Though struggling to make his mark in Madrid's first-team, the winger has certainly impressed recently, enjoying a scintillating campaign for Real Madrid B, scoring 22 goals and assisting 12 others.

In the recent Under-20 tournament, he was Spain's stand-out man scoring five goals on Spain's route to the quarter-finals and generally impressing with his direct, attacking displays.

Though inexperienced compared to other options, Jese's fearless and direct nature could be just what White Hart Lane needs should Bale's move to Real Madrid come to fruition. 

Here are some of Jese's best finishes from last season.

 

Hulk

One name which has been consistently linked with a move to White Hart Lane since the arrival of Andres Villa-Boas is former Porto talisman, Hulk.

Under the guidance of Villa-Boas, the Brazilian enjoyed his most successful spell and after enduring a particularly tough campaign with Zenit, down to his own indifferent form as well as being subjected too racial abuse from his own fans. It is rumoured that the powerful striker could well be on the move.

On his day Hulk can be unplayable; powerful, direct and ruthless in front of goal he is a defender's worst nightmare and as well as this he offers flexibility. Hulk can operate in a whole host of attacking positions, wether that be the as the central striker or coming in off of one of the wings.

It would be fair to assume that Zenit would slap a substantial price tag on the head of one of their prized assets but should Bale fetch around £80 million it should leave more than enough to re-invest in the Brazilian attacker and bolster Tottenham's attacking options.

A thunderbolt free kick from Hulk below.

 

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Topics:
Real Madrid
Tottenham Hotspur
Football
Gareth Bale
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