Bale set for Real unveiling
Updated: 2013-09-03 07:18
By Agence France-Presse in Madrid (China Daily)
Tottenham's Gareth Bale celebrates scoring against Manchester City during their English Premier League match on April 21 in London. Bale's prolonged transfer to Real Madrid was finally completed on Sunday after the Spanish club officially confirmed the move. Ian Kington / Agence France-Presse
Madrid pays massive transfer fee to coax Welsh star from Hotspur
Gareth Bale will be unveiled as a Real Madrid player on Monday after his prolonged transfer from Tottenham Hotspur was finally completed for an unconfirmed world record fee late Sunday.
The Welshman has agreed to a six-year deal believed to be worth 10 million euros ($13 million) net per year and will be presented to the media after undergoing a medical in the Spanish capital.
Widespread reports in England have suggested that the move will make Bale the world's most expensive player with Real set to pay 101 million euros ($133.5 million) for his services.
However, media in Spain insisted that Real will only pay 91 million euros, three million less than Los Blancos paid for Cristiano Ronaldo back in 2009.
"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," Bale said in a statement on the Spurs website.
"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.
"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 was coveted by the Spanish giant following a series of amazing performances for Tottenham last season that landed him both the Premier League players' and soccer writers' player of the year honors.
He scored 21 goals in 33 Premier League appearances, but his efforts still weren't enough to lift Spurs into the Champions League as they were edged out of fourth place by just one point by North London rival Arsenal.
And the chance to not only play with some of the best players in the world, but also in Europe's premier club competition was a significant factor as the 24-year-old made his desire to move to Madrid clear.
Bale was criticized by Spurs' coach Andre Villas-Boas on Wednesday after he refused to attend training last week in a bid to force the move through and chairman Daniel Levy admitted the player's wishes had played a crucial role.
"Gareth was a player we had absolutely no intention of selling as we look to build for the future. He is a player whose career we have fostered and developed and he was only a year into his new four-year contract," he said.
"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."
As a result of his rebellion Bale hasn't played at all since Spurs' preseason friendly against Swindon Town on July 16 as he first complained of a gluteal injury and then a foot problem which kept him out of the English side's impressive start to its league campaign.
However, he has still been called up by Chris Coleman for Wales' upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Serbia.
The move could also spark a flurry of transfer deadline day departures from the Bernabeu, with Kaka set to rejoin AC Milan on a free transfer.
The Brazilian has long been surplus to requirements given the wealth of attacking midfield options for coach Carlo Ancelotti, and the former world player of the year is desperate to secure first-team soccer ahead of the World Cup in Brazil next year.
And Mesut Ozil could also be sold to recoup some of the funds spent on Bale, with Arsenal said to be strongly interested in the German international.
Ozil insisted last week he was ready to stay and fight for his place on the team following the arrival of Isco and now Bale, but he was surprisingly left on the bench by Ancelotti for Sunday's 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao.
(China Daily 09/03/2013 page22)