Gareth Bale Would Take Madrid Move In His Stride – John Hartson

John Hartson believes Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale would take a move to Real Madrid in his stride, if it were to happen.

Wales international Bale, 24, has indicated he wants to speak to the Spanish giants.

And national assistant manager Hartson told BBC Wales the star winger has the temperament to handle the pressure.

“It wouldn’t be an issue for Gareth. He’s very level headed, his feet are firmly on the ground,” he said.

“I get to see him close up, obviously, working with him with the Welsh national team.

“He comes along to the squad and he works like all the other players, he gets his head down.

“If he was to go – I’m not saying that he’s going to go – I’m sure he will deal with everything.

“He’s got a great family. He doesn’t come with a big entourage.

“He’s got his agent, he’s got his advisers and he’s a really down-to-earth, level-headed lad and I think whatever Gareth does I’m sure he would have thought long and hard about it.”

Cardiff-born Bale joined Tottenham from Southampton in May 2007 and signed a new four-year contract in June 2012.

He went on to enjoy his most successful season for the club in 2012-13, scoring 26 goals and being named Premier League player of the year and young player of the year.

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas has insisted Bale is not for sale and says talks about a new deal are ongoing.

Spanish daily newspaper Marca claims Tottenham are demanding a fee of 145m euros (£125m), and former Spurs manager David Pleat told BBC Sport he felt Bale was “too young to move” and that it would take £100m to prise Bale from White Hart Lane.

Real Madrid are yet to submit a formal offer for Bale but 38-year-old Hartson, capped 51 times by Wales, says he is not surprised by the interest, although he admits he thinks the figures being quoted are “absurd”.

“He’s a phenomenal player, very explosive, very quick, clever and he’s got everything as a footballer that you require so it doesn’t surprise me,” said the former Celtic striker.

“That’s where we are in the current world market – £95m or £100m is absolutely absurd.

“Christiano Ronaldo went for £80m three seasons ago. Luis Suarez, if he was to leave Liverpool, would probably look for £50m for starters.

“It’s crazy money, but that’s where we are.”

George Burley, who gave Bale his first team debut for former club Southampton in April 2006, said it was hard to put a price tag on the 24-year-old.

“At the time we had a lot of good young players thanks to the youth policy, but Gareth always showed the biggest promise. He’s always had that exciting talent, he’s level headed and always wanted to listen,” Burley told Sport Today on BBC World Service.

“Last season was incredible, playing in different positions and scoring some of the best goals you’ll ever see.

“He wants to keep pushing his career forward. Who’s to say what’s he’s worth?”

BBC SPORT