Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has admitted his surprise at the fee Tottenham are demanding for Gareth Bale, claiming that 100m euros (£86m) is “a lot of money”.
Reports in Spain has suggested that Real could be prepared to pay up to £100m to land the Welshman, who won both the PFA and Football Writers’ Player of the Year awards last season.
Madrid’s new manager Carlo Ancelotti has admitted that the club are trying to find a solution to the situation”, but has said little else apart from confirm the La Liga club’s interest in the Spurs ace.
However, Perez was spoken out over the move, and suggested that the delay to a potential deal may be caused by Madrid’s attempt to lower the asking price, with numerous reports in the last few weeks claiming a player-plus-cash deal might be enough to prise Bale away from White Hart Lane.
Speaking to broadcaster ESPN, Perez said: “We don't usually talk about players out of respect to the player, the club and their chairman, with whom I enjoy a good friendship after signing (Luka) Modric last season. And as I don't talk about players, I don't talk about transfer fees either.
"However, of course, 100m euros seems to me like a lot of money, all things considered. But I won't talk about players or money, because I shouldn't and I cannot."
He also elaborated on the Spanish club’s attempts to tie down current world record transfer Cristiano Ronaldo to a new, long-term contract amid interest that Manchester United want the forward to return to Old Trafford.
Ronaldo’s current deal expires in the summer of 2015, and Real officials are starting to worry that should Ronaldo reject a new deal, he could leave on a free transfer – representing an £80m loss for Los Blancos.
"We are all convinced he is going to finish his career at Real Madrid,” claimed Perez. “At the end of the summer we will try to resolve this situation. I believe this will happen before the end of the month, or at the start of next month.
"We are not in any hurry, because both parties have the same will. We will resolve it satisfactorily. At least that is what I want, and I believe it's what he wants too."
Perez witnessed the club win the pre-season International Champions Cup yesterday in Miami after they beat Chelsea 3-1 in the final, scoring an early victory over former manager Jose Mourinho who returned to Stamford Bridge in the summer.
Despite tension between the former coach and some of his players, Perez had positive words for Mourinho in saying he helped the club take “a competitive leap”, although he also identified why he thinks Mourinho failed in his final season at the Santiago Bernabeu.
"Last season we made a bad start and that conditioned most of the season," he said.
"At Madrid there is always something going on, because everything gets magnified, that's part of our history and what makes our club so great.
"You have to know how to handle that pressure. Everyone feels it, the players, the coach and the president, the only difference is I have more experience.
"People that come here for the first time don't consider it normal, but those who have known the club for a long time know that the pressure here is what has made Madrid the biggest club in the world."