It was billed as one of the signings of the summer. A "Galactico" purchase to rival all others over the years.
That such an amount was ever considered as the purchase price shows the vastly inflated nature of today's transfer market, yet Florentino Perez and Zinedine Zidane were more than happy to talk up Bale's credentials.
John Drayton of the Daily Mail quotes Zidane:
The talk about Gareth Bale is not a surprise.
It is impossible to have the season he just had and not be linked with the biggest clubs in Europe.
If any club is going to tempt Spurs, then it will take big money – maybe even record-breaking money.
There are four or five clubs at the moment who have the finances not to be put off by a record-breaking fee like that.
He would be a good signing for the club.
Bale is one of the best players in the world and at Real Madrid we always have the best.
I am convinced that if the club want him he would be a great signing. Bale was born to play in Madrid.
The courting of Bale began almost as soon as last season was over, yet some two months later and as we fast approach preseason, any hyperbole and rhetoric on the subject appears to have been just that.
For all of the talk from the Spanish capital that Bale would spearhead a new look Madrid attack, the lack of a formal bid has been noticeable.
Perhaps it has been the steadfast refusal of Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy to negotiate that has curtailed any notion of the Welshman moving to Spain.
Whatever the truth of the matter, the move now seems to be dead in the water.
At the new Tottenham kit launch on Monday, Bale was one of four representatives on the playing staff who were chosen to model the new Under Armour apparel.
It would be fair to suggest that given the above, this is probably the clearest indication yet that Bale intends to stay in North London for at least one more season.
Teammate Jermain Defoe, who joined Bale in modelling the new threads, told The Guardian:
It's important that he stays. This year, we want a great season and we want to get into the Champions League and to do that you've got to keep your best players.
What Gareth did here last year was unbelievable when you look at the amount of goals he scored.
He's a special player. You want to keep your top players.
Florentino Perez has also told reporters that no bid has been made for the winger, and there has been a deafening silence recently from the Santiago Bernabeu concerning Bale's acquisition.
Spanish paper Marca, who are known to have close relations with Real Madrid, are convinced Bale is going nowhere...for now.
With no release clause and the Welshman unwilling to upset the apple cart in North London by demanding a move, we can safely assume that this particular transfer story is closed for the time being.
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