After weeks of waiting, it's finally official. English superstar Gareth Bale will join Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid this summer.
The news was confirmed by Tottenham Hotspur's official Twitter account on Sunday:
The Club can announce that it has reached agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of Gareth Bale #THFC— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 1, 2013
NBC Sports' Joe Prince-Wright reports via Twitter that an agreement was reached for a fee of €100 million while Real Madrid's official Twitter account confirmed that it's a six-year deal:
Just confirmed to me by Tottenham's press officer. Gareth Bale sold for €100 million. The saga of the summer is over.— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) September 1, 2013
OFFICIAL: Gareth Bale signs for Real Madrid for the next 6 seasons. #halamadrid— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) September 1, 2013
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas offered some parting words for Bale, wishing him well in Spain, per Mirror Football on Twitter:
AVB: "He has moved on and so have we. We thank him for the memories."— MirrorFootball (@MirrorFootball) September 1, 2013
But after shelling out a boatload of cash to bring in Bale, Los Blancos must look to sell in order to open up space and opportunities on the pitch and free up spending for future acquisitions.
Arsenal are one notable club that have been linked with Real recently. The Gunners are rumoured to have interest in the trio of Karim Benzema, Mesut Ozil and Angel di Maria, per The Guardian's Scott Murray. Murray also reports that the potential move could cost Arsenal something in the range of £70 million:
Karim Benzema, Mesut Ozil and Angel di María of Real Madrid are the men in question, £70m the figure that's been plucked from the ether along with their names.
With Bale secured, Carlo Ancelotti and Los Blancos would be smart to consider that move or any other possible deals that would make room for Bale on the books and in the dressing room.
After all, Cristiano Ronaldo is already the designated superstar striker in Real's lineup, and unless the club move some of their other talent to balance out the equation, there's the potential for egos to get in the way early on.
Plus, both Ronaldo and Bale need to touch the ball in order to be at their best, and selling some of the club's marquee attacking players makes the most sense in order to allow both stars to play their most effective football and to avoid any unnecessary drama brought on by players potentially coveting more playing time.
Should Real Madrid look to sell now that Bale has been signed?
Even if Real don't sell to Arsenal, moving some notable names could lighten the financial impact of signing Bale while at the same time re-energizing the squad with a fresh look as they head into the 2013-14 campaign.
With Bale having scored 26 goals in 44 appearances for Tottenham last season and Ronaldo putting away 55 goals in 55 appearances in all competitions, the firepower is undeniable for Real. Therefore, parting ways with players like Benzema and Ozil wouldn't jeopardize the club's offensive production moving forward.
Real have no choice but to sell after landing Bale for a record fee, as Goal.com reports. Other areas will need to be addressed in the future, and by freeing up money, Ancelotti will ensure that Real can meet further needs down the road.
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