Exclusive – Jol: Tottenham were close to letting Bale leave for bargain £5million

first_imgFormer Tottenham manager Martin Jol has told talkSPORT Spurs considered allowing superstar forward Gareth Bale to leave the club in a bargain £5million deal.Jol helped lure the Southampton starlet to White Hart Lane for £7million in 2007, but the 17-year-old failed to immediately justify the lofty price-tag.Bale would eventually become Tottenham’s talisman, with his breathtaking runs, piledriving shots and inspired trickery seeing him later secure a record-breaking £85m switch to Spanish giants Real Madrid, where he won the Champions league in his debut season.But before then, the teenage Welshman struggled to break into the first-team and, despite what Jol describes as an “unbelievable” debut display against Manchester United, was confined to the fringes of Spurs’ squad after a series of injures and hapless performances.Such was the north London’s club’s frustration with their big investment that they began to offer the full-back to a number of clubs.And Jol admitted he could have snapped up the future world star for a steal when he was appointment boss of German outfit Hamburg following his shock Tottenham exit.“Spurs saw Bale as a left-back, but he probably wasn’t the best left-back in the world,” he told Matchday Live.“He was more creative, he had electric pace, so everybody saw that he was more suited as a forward player, and Harry Redknapp saw that later on.“I saw his potential straight away, but other people didn’t see that in the early stages of his career and that led to Spurs offering Bale to me when I went to Hamburg.“We had to pay a lot of money to get him though, about five or six million, which we couldn’t afford at the time.“I then asked Daniel Levy if we could take him on loan instead, but at that time it was not possible.“So yes, Hamburg could have bought Bale for £5million because, of course, he was not playing at that moment.“He couldn’t get into the side, so Spurs offered him to other clubs.”Read more of Matchday Live’s exclusive interview with Martin Jol:Exclusive – I’ve got no grudge with Levy, insists former Spurs bosslast_img read more

Exclusive – Souness: Liverpool striker Balotelli has run out of chances

first_imgGraeme Souness believes Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has run out of chances at Liverpool and must be dropped.The Reds striker cut a forlorn figure during the first half of the 3-0 Champions League defeat to Real Madrid, and was removed from the action at the break.The Italian has struggled to adapt to life at Anfield, following a £16million move from AC Milan, and has already been criticised this season for some woeful performances.And Souness claims the 24-year-old needs to spend some time out of the starting XI to remind him of his responsibilities.“You can only give Balotelli so many chances, “he told Hawksbee and Jacobs. “He’s had those and not taken them.“They’re going to have to put him on the bench and make him watch on. He needs to give someone else a chance.“You want players, as a manager, knocking on the door saying, ‘I want to be in the team’. Some of the players on the fringes will be watching Mario and thinking, ‘I can do better’. I would drop him.”last_img read more