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With speculation rife about the Welshman's future, Wigan's manager warns that the winger could struggle in Spain and see his status in world football reduce dramatically

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has warned Tottenham midfielder Gareth Bale that a switch to Spain could damage his career, and to contemplate his future carefully before any move.

Bale has been linked to a move to a host of teams over the past few years, with Barcelona and Real Madrid among them, but the Spaniard - whose Wigan side face Spurs in their next match - believes the winger should consider all his options first.

He told reporters: "It is a real compliment when people talk about him and Barcelona or Real Madrid - there are only a handful of players around in the world who can fit that criteria. Bale could fit in there, without a doubt.

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"Sometimes you go to a bigger club and think it's going to be perfect. But you lose your role and you are no longer the star player but one of five or six.

"Some players enjoy the responsibility of being the main player, but they don't have the same impact when they go to other clubs when there are so many about. Only the player will know that. He is already at a top team and playing so well, so he will always consider that."

However, Martinez believes Bale has the attributes to contribute strongly to any team in the world.

He added: "His biggest strength is that he has got that change of pace when he is sprinting. There are not many players like that.

"George Weah was like that but in a different position. Bale is quite unique. He can run - and then go even quicker."

Martinez admitted that the Latics face a difficult task in trying to stop Tottenham’s attacking play, particularly on the wings with the pace of Bale and Aaron Lennon.

He said: "I don't think you can stop these players, but you can stop the service. You need to make sure the effect he has is not as important as it could be.

"But the real strength of this Spurs side is that they have got real pace down both wings and can stretch teams.

"If you spend too much time on one, you will be hurt by the other."

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