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A new week sees us get ever closer to the conclusion of the Gareth Bale saga, with the consensus being that he will be officially unveiled at Real Madrid on Tuesday.
The specifics of the deal have yet to be formally disclosed, but Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail claims that the fee is £86 million—making it a new world record, but falling short of some of the figures bandied about in recent weeks.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy signed off the staggering move for the PFA Player of the Year following talks with directors in the boardroom at White Hart Lane. Bale’s transfer to Real beats the previous world record of £80m which Real paid to Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
Ashton adds that a payment plan has been drawn up that means Real can save 10 percent of the fee (so, £8.6 million) if they pay it faster than scheduled. That would end up making the deal slightly cheaper than the one for Ronaldo (which, famously, was planned as four installments of £20 million), but Real are not necessarily renowned for paying fees quicker than required.
In that spirit, Jason Burt of The Telegraph reports that Real will have to pay more if they are slow on their payments. Burt also claims that Spurs had wanted a player—Fabio Coentrao, Alvaro Morata or Angel Di Maria—in part-exchange for Bale, but they were put off by Real's demands for all three:
The club reasoned that a pile of money in the bank was no good to them if they were going to weaken their squad. However these talks broke down after Real’s valuation on their players – also including winger Angel di Maria – was deemed too high.
As has been the case throughout this transfer saga, Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas refused to confirm that Bale was off, even suggesting that he expected the Welshman back at training on Tuesday...if he hadn't completed a transfer elsewhere first (which seems a somewhat obvious assertion).
About Bale's absence from White Hart Lane for Sunday's win over Swansea, the Portuguese said:
There is interest from Real and I hope to have more news for you in the next couple of days.
We gave him two days off. We never force non-selected players to be present, they are not obliged to be there and regardless he is not training with the team.
Villas-Boas will now seemingly turn his attentions to bringing in a replacement (or more than one) before the transfer window closes.