Welsh winger Gareth Bale, whose future at White Hart Lane has been widely speculated on, has threatened to leave Tottenham if they fail to qualify for the Champions League next season.
Spurs' recent run of bad results has seen them win only one of their last nine league games and has seen them drop from third to fifth in the league, outside of the Champions League qualifying positions. Worse still, there is now the danger that even if they finish fourth - theoretically the final qualifying position - they could lose out on playing in the continent's elite tournament because local rivals Chelsea are in the finals of the tournament for this year and should they win it (and assuming Chelsea themselves do not finish in the top four) the Blues will automatically qualify for next year's tournament, meaning only the top three from the Premier League will enter next year's competition.
As a result, Bale, who has had limited experience of Champions League football in his Spurs career to date and is keen to continue playing in Europe, has hinted at leaving the club for that reason.
"I think everybody always wants to test themselves against the best players in the world. We have to wait and see what happens. Obviously. If we don't [qualify for the Champions League], I have to discuss what's best for myself," the Guardian quoted Bale as saying.
If the 22 year old Welshman does happen to leave, there may well be a fierce bidding war between Manchester United, Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid, all of whom are keen on the talented wingman. However, Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, who may also leave the club next season should the FA offer him the chance to manage the national team, is unlikely to allow Bale so easy an exit, particularly after successfully refusing Croatian midfielder Luka Modric a move to Chelsea last summer, despite the player's keen interest.
"I certainly wouldn't see him wanting to go. At this moment he is happy here, a big fish. He is still learning the game, a young boy, and this is where he needs to be," the Telegraph quoted Redknapp as saying.
Bale, who was quoted in an earlier IBTimes UK report as saying he chose Spurs over Manchester United in order to play first team football, may be willing to wait and evaluate his position for the moment and may feel Spurs' bad luck will change.
"We're playing some good stuff at the moment, we just can't seem to get the ball in the back of the net. I think it's just one of those things you go through during the season - I think Arsenal went through it and came out stronger so hopefully our luck will change. We're not getting too much luck at the moment," ESPN quoted Bale as saying
"Things can change dramatically in football, and we're hoping it changes for us over the last four games," said Bale, according to a Goal.com report.