Hughes: Barcelona target Bale should stay at Tottenham Hotspur
Queens Park Rangers boss Mark Hughes tells Barcelona target Gareth Bale to stay at Tottenham for the immediate future
Mark Hughes has advised Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Gareth Bale to ignore interest from Spanish and European champions Barcelona and remain in the Premier League – for now.
The 22-year-old is a reported summer target for Barcelona after impressive performances for Spurs over the past two seasons which culminated in the former Southampton star winning the 2011 PFA Player of the Year award.
But Hughes, who signed for Barcelona in 1986, believes Bale should be patient and develop further in the English top flight before considering a move abroad.
“Yes I would [advise Gareth to stay put],” said Hughes.
“He’s playing at a good club that competes and is challenging for honours. There is no reason for him to leave.
“But he’s not making any noises in that regard. When asked the question, he answers it honestly saying maybe in the future. I don’t think he’s anticipating leaving any time soon.”
The Queens Park Rangers manager moved from Manchester United to Barcelona in a £2m deal aged 22, but the former Wales international struggled to make an impact at Camp Nou.
The 48-year-old scored five goals in just 37 appearances for Barça and, after one season in Cataluña, moved to German outfit Bayern Munich on loan before returning to Manchester United.
And Hughes believes it is important that Bale matures in England before considering a move to La Liga.
“He’s still a very young man and he’s got a lot to achieve in the Premier League,” added Hughes.
“I’m sure he’s enjoying his football and his life in the Premier League at the moment.
“He’s got a huge profile and there’s no reason to go when you’re so young. I went when I was young, 22 or 23.
“It was probably a little bit too soon for me. I felt if I had the opportunity later than I would have been more successful than I was.
“So I think there’s time for Gareth in the future if he thinks that’s what he wants to do, his ability will give him those opportunities.
“I went when I wasn’t married; I didn’t have any children or a family. Life wasn’t as settled that maybe it would have been at 26, 27 or 28. So that always helps when you have that support.”