Real Madrid confirm Bale signing for world record €100m
Welsh international leaves Spurs to sign six-year deal at the Bernabeu
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed that Gareth Bale will join Real Madrid. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA
After over two months of speculation and negotiation, Real Madrid confirmed they have agreed to sign the Wales forward.
Bale will sign a six-year contract at the Spanish club on Monday – providing he passes a medical – and will then be presented at the Bernabeu at a lunchtime press conference.
The 24-year-old, who scored 31 goals for club and country last term, admits he could not afford to turn down the chance of playing for the nine-time European champions.
“I have had six very happy years at Tottenham but it’s the right time to say goodbye,” Bale told Tottenham’s website.
“We’ve had some special times together over the years and I’ve loved every minute of it.
“I would like to thank everyone at the club, the chairman, board, staff, coaches and players– and most of all the fantastic fans who I hope will understand this amazing career opportunity.
“I am not sure there is ever a good time to leave a club where I felt settled and was playing the best football of my career to date.
“I know many players talk of their desire to join the club of their boyhood dreams, but I can honestly say, this is my dream come true.
“I am well aware that I would not be at the level I am today were it not for firstly Southampton and then Spurs standing by me during some of the tougher times and affording me the environment and support they have.
“Tottenham will always be in my heart and I’m sure that this season will be a successful one for them. I am now looking forward to the next exciting chapter in my life, playing football for Real Madrid.”
Bale joins a long list of illustrious players to have made big-money moves to the Bernabeu.
Tottenham and Real have clashed several times during the transfer saga, which has brought the two clubs’ partnership agreement into question.
First, Tottenham were unhappy with how several Real Madrid players spoke publicly about the possibility of Bale moving to the Bernabeu.
Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos and Isco were just three of the squad members to talk about the prospect of Bale becoming the latest star arrival, and manager Carlo Ancelotti also spoke openly about the player, much to Tottenham’s annoyance.
The Spanish club then angered chairman Daniel Levy even further by selling Bale replica shirts on their website.
Levy was also extremely annoyed at Real’s decision to erect a platform at the Bernabeu for Bale’s unveiling even though he was still on Tottenham’s books.
Levy made his anger at Madrid clear and in giving the transfer the green light he also appeared to have a dig at Bale, who skipped training last week in order to try to force through a move to the Bernabeu.
“Gareth was a player we had absolutely no intention of selling as we look to build for the future,” the Tottenham chairman said.
“He is a player whose career we have fostered and developed and he was only a year into his new four year contract.
“Such has been the attention from Real Madrid and so great is Gareth’s desire to join them, that we have taken the view that the player will not be sufficiently committed to our campaign in the current season.
“We have, therefore, with great reluctance, agreed to this sale and do so in the knowledge that we have an exceptionally strong squad to which we have added no fewer than seven top internationals. More importantly, we have an immense team spirit and a dressing room that is hungry for success.
“We wish Gareth all the best in the future and he shall always be welcome at the Lane.”