For Tottenham Hotspur, one of the more interesting storylines of the year was the future of their superstars should Spurs not reach the Champions League for the 2012/13 season. Gareth Bale, in particular, was insistent that he'd be looking to leave should he not get the opportunity to participate in Europe's top competition once more. Tottenham, of course, missed out on qualification next season thanks to Chelsea's win in the final, so it looked like we were set for a Bale departure this summer.
Not so! Apparently, Spurs have managed to convince the Welsh winger to stay aboard, signing him to a new four-year contract. Bale has apparently changed his mind about the amount of progress that the club's been making:
I’ve been here for five years now and I’ve enjoyed every minute. The fans have been great to me and I’d love to re-pay them and do the very best for them. The Club is progressing and I want to be a part of that, so it was great to get the deal done.
I love the Club and the fans and I want to play my part in trying to get us back into the Champions League - where we belong. We’ve a good, young squad and we need to work together to get back on the biggest stage again.
It's difficult to know what this means for the rest of Tottenham's squad, especially wantaway midfielder Luka Modric. Bale, at this point, is almost certainly being paid as much as Spurs can afford, which might make it more difficult to give Modric the raise he's obviously agitating for. Alternatively, this move could demonstrate enough ambition for the club's core to want to stick around and make another attempt at breaking down the door to Champions League qualification. This could be a make-or-break summer for Spurs, but they certainly look like they're on the right path now.
For more on the Bale deal and all things Tottenham, visit Cartilage Free Captain.