Former Tottenham midfielder and England manager Glenn Hoddle expects that Gareth Bale will stay at White Hart Lane this summer.
The Welshman has been the subject of intense speculation amid an excellent season for Spurs; the winger is the London club's top scorer, striking 18 Premier League goals in 28 games.
Hoddle, however, is fairly confident that the 23-year-old will remain at White Hart Lane as he believes that, given the recent birth of his child, Bale would prefer to stay in England - a move that the footballer-turned-pundit encourages wholeheartedly.
"Well I do actually [think Bale will stay]. I say that because I think the lad would want to stay. He's just had a baby, I don't see him moving abroad at this moment in time," he told Absolute Radio. "If I were advising him I would say: 'Stay for another season'. I went abroad myself and it's not as easy to settle off the pitch and it's about settling off the pitch to perform on it and I just got a gut feeling that he would want to stay at least another year."
Hoddle proceeded to extol the forward's virtues, hailing Bale's contribution this season as "inspired" and declaring the Welshman to be his player of the season before emphasizing how important it is that Tottenham retains his services.
"If Spurs can improve the squad and get into that top four, if they can sneak in there in this year, then I think that will secure Gareth Bale staying," he continued. "To me, he's been the player of the season because he's been very, very consistent. [Robin] van Persie and others have been in and out of form but this lad has kept his consistency right through the season.
"If he stays for another season, that's got to be great news for the club because they can attract really good players who want to play with Gareth Bale.
"The amount of goals that he's scored and he's not even a striker really, let's face it – he's played wide, he's played in that hole in the pocket, he's done an unbelievable job this season. He's playing inspired football at the moment."