Bale saga continues as Spurs claim rival bid has been lodged
Tottenham emphasise that deal for Welsh winger with Real Madrid has not been done
Real Madrid had hoped to present Gareth Bale to the media today as their new signing, but Tottenham claim a rival bid has been lodged. Photograph: PA
Gareth Bale was due to fly back to Britain yesterday as he awaits the completion of his move to Real Madrid.
The Welshman had spent the last two days in Marbella, on Spain’s south coast, and had planned to travel back to London anyway.
He flew to Spain believing that a deal was virtually secured but no formal agreement had been reached and there were discrepancies in the fees being filtered by the two clubs.
Spurs have claimed that there is another bid, which emphasises that the deal is still not done and means that Madrid will not be able to present Bale today as they had hoped to do.
The existence of a rival bid, or of Spurs’ insistence that there is another bid, could also be a tactic to try to force up the price. Sources at Madrid have previously claimed the deal would be €90.8 million, with Tottenham suggesting a figure closer to €100 million.
Bale’s camp had already worked out a package with Madrid that meant he would sign a six-year contract, with an annual salary close to €10 million a year net. That would take the cost of the total package for Madrid above €200 million.
The discrepancies in the fee appear to have reflected different proposed payment schedules, with a lower fee being applicable in the event of Madrid paying up front. Spurs, however, are keen for Real to be seen to break the world-record fee of £80 million that they paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo. Real and Tottenham have yet to reach a definitive agreement and confirm the move officially.
Reports in Spain said the deal was done after a meeting last Wednesday night. Those same reports, though, had claimed that Bale’s signing would be announced last Friday and presented on Saturday, so as not to overshadow a match held in honour of their former captain Raul.
If that was truly the intention, it failed. The following morning the cover of the country’s best-selling newspaper was a wrap-around dominated by Bale, not Raul; but there was no presentation or announcement.
Photographs from the Bernabeu showed that, following the match, Madrid had begun to construct a stage in front of the directors’ box to provide a platform from where Bale would be presented and reports, judged by Spurs to have been strategically placed, suggested the unveiling was imminent.