Villas-Boas concedes Bale’s long-awaited transfer to Real Madrid is imminent
Welsh international set to move from Tottenham for a new world-record €100 million fee
Andre Villas-Boas has stated that Gareth Bale’s transfer to Real Madrid will go ahead and for “world record” money, as he said that only the fine-tuning over the contracts needed to be finalised.
The Tottenham manager betrayed his exasperation at Real’s behaviour and, also, that of Bale, who did not report to Tottenham’s training ground on Tuesday or yesterday.
Villas-Boas made it clear he would like to see Bale fined. He also revealed that Bale had said his goodbyes to his team-mates ahead of his €100 million move.
The overriding sense from Villas-Boas, though, was that he wanted to move on; to push for the new signings that he hopes will make the squad collectively stronger, in spite of Bale’s loss.
He has deals in place for the Steaua Bucharest centre-back Vlad Chiriches and the Roma forward Erik Lamela. Chiriches will cost €9.3 million and Lamela around €30 million, which would break the club’s transfer record for the third time this summer. Tottenham have also made an €8 million bid for the Ajax attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen.
“At the moment the two clubs are speaking – Tottenham and Real Madrid – to outline the final decisions or statements of contracts and I am not sure how much time it will take,” Villas-Boas said.
“It could happen very, very soon. It might not happen so soon so I suppose it could go to the last days . . Or it could happen in the next two days.
“What’s happening is a dream move for him so I think in the end, this could have happened in a different way. But Tottenham will be in the end ... there will be a three-way agreement for the player to go and Tottenham will accept most likely the biggest transfer in world football. In the end, if Tottenham accept it and everything goes all right, it will be end of story.
“In the end, this is an agreement between everybody. I’m not going to speak from his point of view. He goes to Real Madrid, the biggest club in world football, for the record transfer in world football. We wish him well.”
There was, however, an undercurrent to Villas-Boas’s comments about Bale, who has not trained fully or played since the middle of July as the transfer has edged closer. The official reason has been a couple of minor injuries. But Bale has infuriated Villas-Boas by not turning up for training.
“I gave the player the weekend off,” Villas-Boas said. “Monday was then a day off for the squad. He is involved in a big transfer move to Real Madrid.
“In the end, if it happens, we wish him all the best, what he left here is great memories ... and the fact that he hasn’t turned up ... I don’t think it’s the correct behaviour. But in the end, it’s a position of pressure and a statement from the player or whatever that means. It’s a position they chose to take. It’s up to the club now to decide if it’s a fineable offence.”
Villas-Boas was asked whether Bale owed it to his team-mates and manager to say goodbye. “It’s up to Gareth. He has a good relationship with everybody and he has saluted the players the other day, myself included. “Is he on strike? No, I don’t think he’s on strike. Will he be in tomorrow? I don’t know.