Gareth Bale finally departs Tottenham for Real Madrid in ‘record’ £86m transfer

Spanish giants dispute claims over amount paid to Tottenham for the Welsh winger

Gareth Bale completed his move to Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday night, for a fee Spurs – but not Real Madrid – insisted broke Cristiano Ronaldo’s world record.

While Tottenham said they had been paid €100m for Bale – £86m  – sources in Spain described the fee as €90m, or £78m. The record, before Sunday, was the £80m (€94m) that Real Madrid paid Manchester United for Ronaldo in 2009.

Bale has signed a six-year deal and will be presented at the Santiago Bernabeu, which has had a stage erected for a week, at midday.

After weeks of negotiations, the 24-year-old winger, the winner of the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year and Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year for his remarkable 2012-13 season, was confirmed as a Real Madrid player on the websites of the two clubs yesterday evening.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said Bale had only been sold because his head had been turned by Real Madrid. “Gareth was a player we had absolutely no intention of selling as we look to build for the future,” Levy said. “He is a player whose career we have fostered and developed and he was only a year into his new four-year contract.

“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.

“We have, therefore, with great reluctance, agreed to this sale and do so in the knowledge that we have an exceptionally strong squad.”

Bale released a statement on the Spurs website, hoping the fans would “understand this amazing career opportunity”.

He said: “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.”

The Spurs manager, Andre Villas-Boas, confirmed that Bale had gone  in the aftermath of Spurs’ 1-0 defeat to Arsenal in the north London derby.

“We have moved forward in our work, moved forward in our transfer activity,” said Villas-Boas, denying that the transfer saga had affected the start to Spurs’ season. “It hasn’t really had that kind of effect on us.

“Bale is an absolutely wonderful player, he is going to join Real Madrid, we wish him all the best. He has left us with great memories from last season, which I think every Tottenham fan cherishes, but he has moved on, we will move on as well.”

Spurs have already spent much of the fee on new recruits. Paulinho, Etienne Capoue, Roberto Soldado and Nacer Chadli all started the weekend’s game while Erik Lamela came off the bench. Christian Eriksen and Vlad Chiriches were not registered in time. There was fear of a serious injury to Capoue, though, after the French midfielder was carried off following a challenge from Santi Cazorla.

Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, was delighted with his team’s performance. “It was a convincing win in a very intense game. We showed aspects from our game that people are not used to seeing from us, that means commitment, desire, defending. Their keeper was their best player.”

Although Arsenal have only made two free signings, Wenger said he may surprise people with transfer activity on Monday, with Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil a target.

“We need one or two super players. We will try to add that. There are 24 hours left maybe we can surprise you, maybe not.”

Wenger insisted he was happy to spend. “I am ready to pay what we can afford. Even if it is a bit over the market as long as it is not crazy.”

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices