The Chronicle have claimed that new Tottenham Hotspur signing Gareth Bale was one of five big-name players that Saudi Arabia’s PIF and Amanda Staveley were considering – had they taken over Newcastle United earlier in the summer.
Bale, 31, rejoined Tottenham on a season-long loan from Real Madrid – with the option of a second a real possibility, while his contract at Real Madrid ends in 2022. But it could have been very different.
Staveley has been looking to take over from Mike Ashley for a number of years, and she was close to doing so after a £300million bid was accepted. But problems ensued, due to the financial involvement of the Saudi Arabia PIF.
The PIF were to take 80% control, but the Premier League delayed until PIF and Staveley pulled out. Had they taken over, Bale was a target – as were new Man City duo Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres, and Serie A stars Victor Osimhen and Ciro Immobile.
TBR’s view – Newcastle’s summer business still very good
Yes, it is far from the business that would have happened – had the Premier League decided to accept the takeover. But issues with piracy in Saudi Arabia, a damning report from the World Trade Organisation and other issues prevented as such.
But solving the left-back issue after Danny Rose returned to Tottenham was key, and they did that with the signing of Jamal Lewis. Callum Wilson already has four goals after replacing Joelinton, while Jeff Hendrick and Ryan Fraser are good additions.