Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bale's on His Way but Spurs Fight for Berbatov

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bale's on His Way but Spurs Fight for Berbatov

Article excerpt

TOTTENHAM are confident they have won the race to sign Southampton defender Gareth Bale and will be able to fight off Manchester United's bid to sign Dimitar Berbatov.

Bale could complete the deal in the next 24 hours, with the left-back understood to have completed his medical at White Hart Lane yesterday.

Spurs agreed a [pounds sterling]6million fee which could rise to [pounds sterling]10m, and the 17-year-old has been convinced by manager Martin Jol that he will get regular first-team football.

United were also interested in the Wales international, and his countryman Ryan Giggs was trying to persuade him to go to Old Trafford.

Southampton fought hard to keep him themselves, having offered Bale a new contract on Tuesday only to be told that he wanted to leave the St Mary's Stadium.

Spurs have been leading the chase for his signature since they agreed a fee with Southampton in January.

Bale, who was shown around the club's training ground in Chigwell at the time, rejected the chance to join them then because he wanted to help George Burley's side win promotion to the Premiership.

Southampton's defeat by Derby in the play-offs earlier this month ended their hopes of keeping Bale, who had only one year left on his contract, as well as playing in the top flight.

West Ham and Wales defender James Collins is convinced Bale can perform in the Premiership despite his lack of experience.

He said: "It's a fantastic move and Gareth's a fantastic player, I hope it all goes well for him. It's a massive leap from the Championship to the Premiership, but he came in at international level and did so well. He's so young and has plenty of time. He'll go on to be a star in the Premiership." Jol has been desperate to sign Bale as he has not been happy with the left side of defence this season. …

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