Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has claimed that the club landed world-record £86m signing Gareth Bale on the cheap and he has also admits that they beat Manchester United in the race for the former Tottenham star after the Premier League champions made a bid for him.
Bale completed his drawn-out transfer in the final days of the transfer window after negotiations had lasted the entire summer. Real were trying to reduce the fee of Bale, while there were also negotiations over whether players would be heading to White Hart Lane as part of the deal.
Bale made his debut against Villarreal 10 days ago but he missed the La Liga fixture against Getafe on Sunday, with a medical statement revealing that he was suffering from muscle fatigue in his left-thigh after having a minimal pre-season.
However, in an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena SER radio, Perez said: "Bale has come cheaply.
"Signing the best players out there is Madrid's philosophy and Bale was the best available player on the market this summer. We had been following him for two years.
"Tottenham did not want to sell. We learned that Manchester United had made an offer and we made one ourselves."
Following the completion of the transfer, pictures emerged of Bale as a boy playing in a Real kit, with his ambition to play for the Spanish club as a “boyhood dream” proving a decisive factor in the switch.
"Since childhood he had had the dream of playing for Real Madrid and he asked us to make it possible for him to come,” admitted Perez.
Bale looks set to return for this weekend’s Madrid derby, when Atletico Madrid visit the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday. Atletico have won all of their five Primera Division matches this season, and manager Carlo Ancelotti will want Bale available as they look to take the cities bragging rights.
"Gareth Bale trained individually today. He should be fit for Saturday's match,” Ancelotti said in a press conference.
French newspaper L’Equipe has reported after the closure of the transfer window that United had made a last ditch effort to sign Bale with a £125m offer, although that figure is widely unproven.
However, Perez’s comments add weight to the speculation that United manager David Moyes and chief executive Ed Woodward did attempt to hijack the deal, with just Marouane Fellaini joining the club as a big name signing this summer.
United were then dealt another blow when their former winger Cristiano Ronaldo out pen to paper on a new three-year contract, claiming that he wanted to end his career in the Spanish capital. United were hopeful that the Portuguese superstar would prolong his contract talks until the summer, when he would have just a year remaining on his old deal and potentially giving the Red Devils some bargaining power in their attempt to bring him back to Old Trafford.
"The renewal of Cristiano Ronaldo has been easy - he is determined to finish his career at Real Madrid,” admitted Perez, who signed Ronaldo to a staggering £288,000-a-week deal after tax.
"Cristiano never spoke of money with me."
Perez also made another comment about Mesut Ozil’s departure to Arsenal, having gone on the defensive after it was claimed the club had forced him out.
"It was the father of the player who made contact with Arsenal,” said Perez. "No one leaves Real Madrid if they don't want to go."
Meanwhile, David Moyes held a press conference this afternoon in which he responded, slightly tongue in cheek, to Perez's claims that United made an offer for Bale.
When questioned, Moyes replied: "Well if it was I wouldn’t tell you.”Reuse content