Barca bullish about Gareth Bale's €40m price tag
After Barcelona's chief scout watches the Welsh wizard in action, rumours of a sale mount
THOUGH Transfer Talk's Spanish doesn't stretch as far as "You're having a laugh", that's clearly what Barcelona president Sandro Rosell believes Tottenham are having with their alleged demand that the Spanish giants stump up €40 million for Gareth Bale.
The 22-year-old Welsh wizard has been linked with some of the biggest clubs in Europe ever since he scored a sensational hat-trick against Inter Milan in last season's Champions League.
Barcelona are known to be particularly eager to get their hands on the winger but in an interview with the Arab broadcaster Al Jazeera, Rosell ruled out going overboard. "I do not know if Bale interests us," said Rosell. "If I did, I would not say, because his price would go up. [Spurs] would not ask for €40 million but €50 million. In any case, even if we wanted him, we would never pay €40m for him."
Though Bale is under contract at the Lane until 2015, Barcelona's chief scout Albert Valentine was in London last week to see him in action against Fulham and rumours suggest the Catalan club might make a play for him next year.
Still with Spurs and Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao might not be a done deal as far as the Lilywhites are concerned. The 22-year-old goal machine is coveted by Harry Redknapp, having so far scored 13 times in 24 games for Internacional. But according to Talksport, Shakhtar Donetsk are lining up an eye-popping offer of £40m to secure his services. The Ukrainian outfit, winners of their domestic league for the past two seasons, have the readies to leave Spurs reeling and an offer could be on its way in January.
The future of David Beckham remains a matter of intense speculation and according to French sports paper L'Equipe Paris Saint Germain coach Leonardo is in contact with the former England midfielder. Goldenballs' contract with LA Galaxy expires later this month and PSG are known to be desperate to sign the 36-year-old.
Asked by L'Equipe if Beckham has demanded to be in the starting line-up each week as part of any proposed deal, Leonardo replied: "Everyone needs playing time, and we need players who are in shape. We have never brought that question up...[and] Beckham is an intelligent player, he has never asked for those guarantees.
Talking of PSG, Italian rag Gazzetta dello Sport claims that the French club are vying with Liverpool for Inter Milan playmaker Philippe Coutinho. The 19-year-old Brazilian has made one appearance for his country and is highly regarded in South America, though not at the San Siro by all accounts. Apparently Coutinho has fallen out of favour at Inter and wants a move in the New Year. PSG are keen but the Reds are also thinking of making an offer for the teenager.
Finally The Sun says that Arsenal have switched their attention from Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila to Toulouse playmaker Etienne Capoue. Apparently Arsene Wenger believes Rennes' £25m price tag for M'Vila is too high and views France Under-21 Capoue as better value. The strapping six footer has scored three goals in 11 games this season and could cost the Gunners as little as £10m.