Tottenham Hotspur have reached an agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of Gareth Bale.
Spurs head coach André Villas-Boas confirmed Bale’s departure in his post-match interview after today’s north London derby. Shortly after came the official confirmation by the club:
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
According to Spanish radio station Cadena SER, Bale will be unveiled at the Santiago Bernabéu tomorrow at 13:00 local time (12:00 BST).
The 24-year old Welshman will move to the La Liga outfit for a world-record fee estimated at €100 million (£85.3m). Bale will sign a six-year deal with Los Merengues, where he will earn an estimated €360,000 per week before tax.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy made the following statement upon the announcement of Bale’s transfer:
“Gareth was a player we had absolutely no intention of selling as we look to build for the future. 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 to which we have added no fewer than seven top internationals. More importantly, we have an immense team spirit and a dressing room that is hungry for success.
“We wish Gareth all the best in the future and he shall always be welcome at the Lane.”
Earlier this year Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez reportedly sent a letter to Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, promising that they would not try to sign Bale this summer. A promise he was apparently willing to break by paying a world-record transfer fee for the Welsh forward. It is believed the president’s hand was forced after Real lost out to fierce rivals Barcelona in the race for Brazilian starlet Neymar.
The deal brings an end to one of the most ungracious transfer sagas in football history. Madrid had been courting Bale all summer long by speculating about the player’s possible arrival through their president, their players and new manager Carlo Ancelotti. The coverage of the Bale saga by Madrid based sport newspapers AS and Marca was relentless, with both claiming a deal to be ‘imminent’ at least a dozen times even as early as mid July.
Bale was the face of numerous promotional campaigns ahead of the new season. He signed a three-year deal with BT Sport as a brand ambassador and guest pundit. Earlier this month BT Sport confirmed that Bale would remain a BT Sport ambassador, although it seems unlikely he will feature as a guest pundit on the TV network after his move to Spain.
Bale was announced as one of the players to be on the cover of the UK version of EA Sport’s FIFA 14 video game. He also was the face of a new £4m campaign by Lucozade. It is unknown if and how Bale’s departure from Spurs and the Premier League will affect these various partnerships.
At 17 years of age Gareth Bale joined Tottenham in 2007 from Southampton in a £7m deal. He made his Premier League debut for Spurs on 26 August 2007 against Manchester United in a 1-0 away defeat at Old Trafford.
Bale was the subject of one of football’s most peculiar curses/hoodoos. Spurs failed to win in any of Bale’s first 24 Premier League appearances for the club. The curse was finally broken after 1,533 minutes of football, and two years after he had joined the club, courtesy of a 5-0 win over Burnley.
Bale initially started his Spurs career as a left-back. He was moved further up the pitch by former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp to play as a left winger. He evolved into a more roaming attacking midfielder/forward under the guidance of André Villas-Boas, to lethal effect.
Last season Bale was in sensational form, scoring 21 goals in 33 Premier League appearances. His spectacular performances earned him the PFA Player’s Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year award, as well as the FWA Footballer of the Year award.
Bale made 203 appearance in all competitions during his 6 seasons at Spurs, scoring 56 goals and providing 58 assists.