Transfer news: Rafael van der Vaart says Gareth Bale is not worth £85m, and is not on the same level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Dutchman was team-mates with Bale at Tottenham

Rafael van der Vaart, who has played for both Tottenham and Real Madrid, has questioned the price tag of his former team-mate Gareth Bale after his world-record £85m transfer to the Bernabeu, and does not think he is at the same level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – yet.

Van der Vaart featured alongside Bale for Tottenham between 2010 and 2012, and played in Madrid for two seasons from 2008 to 2010. He now plays in the Bundesliga for Hamburg.

"€100m (£85m) is a bit much," Van der Vaart was quoted in Dutch news outlet NOS. "You should ask yourself if a player is worth that amount at all. 

"I've played with him, but I couldn't see that he was worth 100 million back then. He did develop quite good, but still he has to prove his worth at Real.

The 30-year-old believes that while Bale to not at the same level as the world’s best players yet, he hopes the Welshman will flourish in La Liga.

"You can't compare him with Messi and Ronaldo, because they're from another level," Van der Vaart said.

"If you make so many goals for so many years and win all these prizes they have won, it's not fair to compare anybody else with those guys.

"I've been in his situation, only Real paid a little less money for me back then. I would like to wish him all the best at Real Madrid, because Gareth is a great lad."

Van der Vaart has pulled out of the Netherlands squad to face Andorra and Estonia because of a hamstring injury.