Whether there's something in it, or whether it's just a fabricated rumour designed to drive some traffic while the football news cycle is moving at a snail's pace, there's no denying that the steadily growing speculation over Gareth Bale's move to Newcastle is good fun.
It's essentially a harmless rumour; Real aren't exactly sweating losing him, no one's really that bothered about missing out, while it's just far-fetched enough for Newcastle fans to treat it all as a bit of a giggle for the time being.
It's a long, long way from being concrete, it hinges on a great many variables, and might never even advance beyond its current embryonic stage of development.
That's no fun though, is it? Nah, let's imagine that Gareth Bale has been pictured standing on the pitch at St. James' Park hoisting a black and white scarf above his head, and dive into what we're looking forward to about seeing the Welshman back in the Premier League.
Everyone Disagreeing Over the Fees Involved
‼️???????? Newcastle intends to make a formal "unbeatable offer" for Gareth Bale soon. The English club plans to offer €50-60M + to equalize the earnings Gareth receives at Concha Espina 1. @FourFourTwo pic.twitter.com/UjlFMFhokR— Rafał (@madridreigns) May 12, 2020
We're seeing this happen already. Marca initially claimed that Bale would cost Newcastle 'no more' than €20m, but a report in the Spanish edition of Four Four Two - published two days later - claimed that the fee has already risen to between €50-60m.
It's going to be some craic when the €250m deal - including €150m in wildly conditional add-ons which might or might not actually exist - is finally completed in July.
The Completely Unnecessary Expectation
Some #NUFC have lost all sense of reality and are complaining about us potentially signing Gareth Bale.— Chris Black (@ChrisBlack10) May 13, 2020
They need to get real, I think he’d be cracking cover for Neymar...
When Manchester City landed Robinho in 2008, it was supposed to mark the beginning of a revolution that would immediately catapult them towards the very top of European football.
As it happened, it took a little bit more time, and a big bit more money, for that to actually come to fruition.
That's the way of it with these things; success has to be built up, and can't be achieved overnight. In signing Bale, Saudi Newcastle would be trying to prove themselves as the exception to that rule, and immediately lumping a whole lot of pressure onto themselves - and Bale - that doesn't need to be there.
That, as we all know, is a recipe for a shambles. And for those of us who don't support Newcastle, at least, it will be great fun.
Angry Tottenham Fans
Tottenham fans will try to be nice about it when Newcastle rock up at their new stadium, led out by Gareth Bale with Mauricio Pochettino sat in the dugout. They really, really will try.
Sadly, when Bale goes down feigning injury after a fairly innocuous challenge from Ben Davies, that will all go out the window.
God help them all when he scores a late equaliser and dares to actually celebrate it...
Angry Manchester United Fans
Bale's only real crime here was *not* being absolutely enamoured by the reported Manchester United interest in his signature, and failing to kick up an unprofessional stink to force a move through.
For a particularly entitled subsection of fans, not yet adapted to their current standing within the game and still so accustomed to getting everything their own way, however, that will be enough to justify a chorus of boos and whistles.
"Had your chance to sign for us and you blew it, now look at yer ya you floppy haired tossah!" shouts one Man Utd fan, chest puffed out after securing a sixth placed finish in 2021, above Newcastle only on goal difference.
Angry England Fans
Of course, out with those two fanbases, there is a fairly evenly spread dislike of Bale across England. Why, you wonder? Because he's rich? Massively successful? Welsh?
'Arrogant' is what they typically land on after spinning the wheel of generic insults used to mask their real feelings, but in any case, the incensed look on the bright red, sunburnt mug of every fan that shouts abuse at him for 90 minutes only to be nonchalantly 'shhhhed' after his inevitable goal will be worth the TV subscription alone.
He's Actually Really Good at Football
All joking and snide insincerity to one side, however, the best thing about maybe having Bale back is that he is stupid good at football.
It seems to have been forgotten about somewhere amid the circus of his dramatic collapsed moved to China, and the subsequent 'Wales. Golf. Madrid.' soap opera, but Bale is, pretty comfortably, the best British footballer of his generation.
Abeit that's a generation that falls somewhere in between Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard and the later crop that brought about Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford, but still.
You don't score 105 goals in 249 appearances for Real Madrid by being average; if the stars do align and Newcastle can indeed pull this off, and Bale's heart is in the move, then we're all in for a crashing reminder of just how good a player is hiding beneath the layers of media nonsense.
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Source : 90min