Gareth Bale to Real Madrid could help Spurs long-term

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It doesn't seem logical but it could be true - Spurs may be better placed to secure Champions League qualification without Gareth Bale.

Better without their chief goalscoring threat, better without the player most often mentioned in the same breath as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

How come? Because if they invest their windfall wisely, they'll have a squad more capable of cracking the top four.

Reports today claim Spurs are closing in on the £27m-rated Anzhi playmaker Willian and the £30m-rated Roma attacker Erik Lamela. Having already spent £60m on Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Etienne Capoue and Nacer Chadli, any further spending would almost certainly require the sale of Bale to balance the books.

Every now and then, lucky clubs get a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform their situation.

It could be planning permission to build a shiny new 60,000-seater stadium, it could be an superstar academy product, it may be a shrewd piece of transfer business, it's often a mega-money oligarch owner. Tottenham currently find themselves at this juncture, and it's courtesy of the third.

They boast an asset that an insanely rich foreign club desperately want to buy - and are willing to pay upwards of €93m plus Fabio Coentrao to land - according to reports.

Spent carefully and studiously, this kind of money can completely transform the fortunes of a club, without directly enhancing the prospects of a Premier League rival. Yes, they lose a 21-goal match-winner but consider two potential starting lineups - with and without Bale.

With - Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Dawson, Rose, Paulinho, Dembele, Bale, Holtby, Lennon, Soldado

Without - Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Dawson, Coentrao, Paulinho, Dembele, Willian, Holtby, Lamela, Soldado

And the second - with an assumed £90m windfall from Bale - would mean Spurs had broken even over the summer.

Incomings would read Paulinho, Capoue, Soldado, Willian, Coentrao, Lamela, Chadli and out goings of Bale, Caulker and Huddlestone - £120m in and £120m out, give or take.

That's not bad business, especially considering qualifying for the Champions League is a squad game. You need bodies to make it through the November-March Europa League slog, something that ultimately cost Spurs last season.

Arsenal didn't boast anybody as talented as Bale, but they had the stronger collective better able to cope with injuries and suspensions and good enough to take advantage of Tottenham's threadbare unit struggling with relentless trips to Eastern Europe.

Spurs will have exchanged an unsettled superstar and two fringe players for six Champions League-calibre stars without spending a penny. That is called improving a squad while staying financially stable.

If Financial Fair Play is serious, then Tottenham will be in an incredibly formidable position. If it's not, then they can still go out and spend another wedge without an unduly negative effect on the balance sheet.

Tottenham are not alone this summer - Napoli, for example sold Edinson Cavani for €63m. And in came Gonzalo Higuain, Pepe Reina, Raul Albiol, Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens.

Atletico Madrid sold Radamel Falcao for £50m and brought in David Villa for 10 per cent of that fee. When you have got someone knocking on your door willing to pay whatever it takes, you sell - as long as you have the pieces in place to ensure you improve as a unit.

Because the collective is always stronger than the individual. There are pitfalls to this tactic - Liverpool stand as an example of what not to do.

They did brilliantly to sell Fernando Torres to Chelsea for £50m but blew the proceeds on Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll. That's set them back for almost two years - with shoots of recovery only starting to bloom now.

It's not often you get a chance to transform a squad so radically. Spurs fans should embrace it, even if the unknown is more frightening than playing it safe.

Because, as Robbie Savage has pointed out - the Welshman is displaying classic 'stop communicating' behaviour. This speculation could be ended instantly if Bale came out and said he wanted to stay at White Hart Lane. His silence says it all.

But he gives the club an unique opportunity - it's always a risk selling one of the best young players in the world but when the potential rewards are this great it should be a no-brainer.

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