Ledley King is sure Tottenham will be in the right frame of mind to start the season with a bang despite the fevered speculation that has surrounded the club recently.
Tottenham begin their season at Crystal Palace a week on Sunday, but whether Gareth Bale will be there is in question.
Real Madrid are willing to smash the world transfer record to land Bale, who scored 26 goals last season.
King encountered a similar situation with a number of Spurs stars during his 13-year spell at White Hart Lane. Luka Modric, Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Carrick were all the subject of interest from other clubs during the summer window and they eventually left the club.
Such has been the interest in Bale that photographers and camera crews turned up at the club’s training ground yesterday to see if the 24-year-old would report for duty.
But despite the frenzied speculation engulfing White Hart Lane, former captain King is sure the players will be able to concentrate on trying to get Spurs back in to the Champions League.
"At this time of the season, you are not sure what’s going to happen," King said at the launch of the club’s new interactive online game Tottenham Turfies. "I’m sure every club is the same. As players you learn to deal with that. You just get your head down and concentrate on performing your best for the team and that’s what the players will be doing."
King, like current Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas, would like to see the transfer window shut before the start of the season.
"Once you get to the season, you ideally want to know the team you are going to be working with," said King, who made 264 league appearances for the club. "We’ve had it before where players have gone a week or two after the season and players have come in. It can work against you. Ideally it would be better if things could be sorted out before the first ball was kicked."
Bale has played just once this summer due to gluteal and foot injuries, but he was today named in Wales’ squad for their friendly against the Republic of Ireland, which takes place on Wednesday, four days after Spurs’ final preseason game against Espanyol.
While Tottenham do not feel like Bale owes them, club sources believe the forward is aware of the fact that they stood by him during his initial struggle upon joining the club in 2007.
They believe he is also conscious that they gave him the chance to put himself on the world stage by playing through the middle last season, a move that ultimately helped him become a double player of the year.
Yet, Spurs are also aware that Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, has made it clear that his client wishes to speak to Madrid.
Reports in Spain claim that chairman Daniel Levy will meet with his opposite number at Real, Florentino Perez, in Miami on Wednesday.
Having felt the wrath of Villas-Boas following his public statement on Bale last week, Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti was loathe to talk about the player again today.
Real captain Iker Casillas was a bit more forthcoming, however. He told Spanish newspaper AS: "We still don’t know if it’s official or not. There has been a lot of talk about it in the last few days, just like in every preseason. Last year it was Modric and now it’s ‘the Bale saga’. The president and Jose Angel Sanchez (Real’s director general) always do everything to try and bring the best players to the club. The current squad is complete in every area but if a player like Bale comes along, he’ll be welcomed."