The idea particularly popular amongst Arsenal fans that Tottenham Hotspur are nothing more than the biggest selling club in the Premier League begins to ring truer than ever as speculation surrounding the future of Gareth Bale continues to swirl.

In the past the club have stomached the losses of the Michael Carrick, Dimitar Berbatov and Luka Modric, all equally influential during their respective spells in north London. But the departure of the talismanic Welshman could strike new resonance, complete with all the potential to leave the club in transfer window purgatory this summer - even with a world record fee burning a hole in their pocket.

Based on which reports you have read - and it would have been very difficult to avoid them - Real Madrid's offers for Bale range from £85m, to £85m plus whichever Madridista has been inevitably exiled this summer, to the €145m suggested by the increasingly rabid Spanish press.

The growing likelihood is that the record fee Los Blancos paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009 will soon be eclipsed. But having that money and being able to spend it effectively in an already inflated market remains compellingly difficult. While Spurs have certainly exhibited their ability to spend commendably during the transfer window under Andre Villas-Boas, a heavily publicised £85m in the bank could certainly create one or two issues in future transfer negotiations.

While Bale has never hidden his desire to one day play abroad, a driving point behind his move away from White Hart Lane this summer must be the club's lack of Champions League football this season. Despite possessing the qualities to establish themselves as top four regulars with the frequency of their north London rivals, players across the continent will have little sympathy for the circumstances surrounding Tottenham's failure to clinch a top four spot last campaign.

The club's omission from Europe's premier tournament has already been a thorn in their side during this transfer window. While summer arrival Nacer Chadli rejected the opportunity to compete in the Champions League with Shakhtar Donetsk next season to play for the club, the same cannot be said of the vast majority of players out there.

Notable transfer target Leandro Damiao has previously stated that his preferred choice was a club competing in the tournament. Despite Villas-Boas' eagerness to sign the Brazilian, the club's fifth place finish last season has coincided with their fading interest in the striker's services. And while David Villa appears besotted with life at Atletico Madrid after his move from Barcelona, the Spaniard admitted a move to a Premier League club was an option. Could Tottenham's presence in Europe's most prestigious club tournament have changed his mind over his decision? It is possible.

David Villa
Once a Tottenham target, David Villa is another unattainable name for Spurs this summer. (Reuters)

Tottenham could be flushed with cash as the transfer window approaches its final month, but their chances of securing players capable of lifting them to the level they want to be is hampered without the attraction of Champions League football.

While there are players in the market capable of improving their starting XI - particularly their limited striking options - it is difficult to envisage the club signing a player truly established as a world class talent, with a scenario where the club settle for second tier players all the more likely. Such a label is arguably befitting of the club's current target Roberto Soldado: a fine striker in his own right who has regularly led the scoring charts at his previous clubs in La Liga, but ultimately one who has never been on the radar of the club's competing at the very highest level.

The situation is not entirely dissimilar to the one Liverpool face should the club lose Luis Suarez. Brendan Rodgers and the Liverpool hierarchy have every right to demand a fee that exceeds the £50m Chelsea paid for Fernando Torres in 2011, but will find themselves with a difficult task of finding a viable target capable of replicating the 26-year-old's spectacular contributions.

By the same token, Tottenham could find themselves faced with a number of scenarios if Bale is sold: unable to secure targets capable of improving their starting XI this late in the window, or one where they find themselves held hostage by clubs determined to squeeze every last penny out of club whose new found wealth is firmly in the public domain.

The prospect of Gareth Bale leaving north London was always a possibility to even the most resolute Tottenham fan, suggesting contingency plans could be in place in the event of the club's best player leaving. And the factor that will be most disheartening to fans in that the Wales international wants to leave the club this summer means that Tottenham have no choice but to regroup, bring in new players and refocus their efforts to claim consistent Champions League football.

Tottenham supporters who marvelled at the Welshman's exploits last season would likely settle for the 'one more season' argument, whereby football descends into an idealistic world where Bale remains at White Hart Lane this season to lift the club into the upper echelons of the Premier League before departing into the Madrid sunset.

But that idea conflicts with the proposal set by the club who have consecutively broken the world record transfer fee four times in 13 years. Real Madrid are driven by an insatiable madness to match Barcelona in the transfer market after witnessing Neymar select Cataluña over the Spanish capital, a desire so maddeningly powerful that there is little any club can do about it, as Juventus, Inter Milan and Manchester United have learned in the past.

Whether Daniel Levy and the Tottenham hierarchy will be enticed by the exorbitant fees reportedly arriving at the club remains to be seen, but what Tottenham could do to rectify the loss of Bale even with a potential £85m in the bank this summer is also shrouded in uncertainty.