- Premier League
Bale agent says lack of Champions League is a 'problem'
Gareth Bale's agent says it is a "problem" that Tottenham Hotspur will not compete in the Champions League next season but has played down reports of a bid from Barcelona.
Bale, 22, has been linked with a summer move away from Tottenham after previously admitting that he would consider his future should the club fail to qualify for the Champions League.
Spurs, who confirmed on Thursday their manager Harry Redknapp will leave the club, finished fourth in the 2011-12 campaign but Chelsea's triumph over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final meant their London rivals missed out so the Blues could defend their crown.
It has been suggested Barca could look to swoop for Bale, who is said to be valued at £40 million, but the Welshman's representative, Jonathan Barnett, has played down the speculation.
"I think it's too expensive for Barca," Barnett told Catalan-based newspaper Sport. "To my knowledge, Barca have not made any offer for him.
"If interested, they would have to put money on the table and then start talking. But it seems that Barca are working on the signing of Jordi Alba, a cheaper option."
Barnett did concede, however, that Spurs' failure to reach Europe's premier competition is an issue. He said: "Yes, it is clear that this is a problem. The big European clubs already know how much it would take to do a deal and therefore if you are interested you know what kind of offer has to be put on the table."