Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 5/20/13
Gareth Bale is more important to Tottenham Hotspur than this photo suggests, and the Premier League club is ready to prove it. The 2012-13 English Player of the Year is set to sign a new contract with Tottenham, which should keep him at White Hart Lane for at least one more season, the London Evening Standard reports. “Standard Sport understands the Wales international, who scored his 31st goal of the season in the 1-0 win over Sunderland yesterday, has committed his future to the club with a £130,000-a-week deal and will remain at White Hart Lane next season,” the report says. “An announcement is expected to be made by the club shortly, which will provide Tottenham fans with a huge lift after losing their bid to beat Arsenal to a place in the top four.” Bale, 23, signed a new contract after the 2011-12 season, but this latest one rewards him for yet another fine campaign. He led Spurs to a fifth-place finish in the league and the quarterfinal of the UEFA League. His fine form, especially in the second half of the season, saw him sweep the player of the year awards and add polish to an already glistening reputation. Tottenham operates under tight salary constraints, but it is prepared to break it in order to give Bale a raise. A host of top clubs are reportedly interested in signing him, with the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United, Manchester City and PSG in hot pursuit. Tottenham has no interest in selling the 23-year-old, as it hopes to build a team around him that is capable of challenging for domestic and European titles. Tottenham has sold many of its star players in recent years, but it seems to be holding firm on Bale. Exactly how long it can keep him in North London remains to be seen. The report adds that Bale’s contract contains a clause which would allow him to leave in the summer of 2014 if an interested team offers over  £50 million ($76.1 million) for him. Next summer is a long way off, and Bale will be a transfer target this summer. His new contract protects his value and strengthens his ties with Tottenham. It also makes it more difficult for another team to tempt him to force a transfer for the sake of more money. He already got it from a place he loves and is loved in return. Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.
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