Real close to sealing 99m euro deal for Bale: reports

Reuters, MADRID

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 - Page 20

Real Madrid’s quest to land Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale for a world-record fee looks to be nearing its conclusion, with Spanish media reporting yesterday that a deal was all but secured.

The nine-time European champions have a reputation for getting their man and Spanish sports daily Marca were sourcing radio station Cadena COPE when it reported that a deal had been agreed and would be confirmed on Friday for 99 million euros (US$132.43 million).

Real’s signing of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United in 2009 set the world-record transfer fee at about 96 million euros.

Real were to play a friendly against Qatar side Al Sadd for the annual Santiago Bernabeu trophy yesterday evening, when the club will be celebrating the return of their all-time leading scorer Raul.

Los Blancos are unlikely to want to trump that event with the Bale signing.

Even if the deal for the Wales international is not confirmed today, all the indications are that the player will be running out at the Bernabeu this season in the currently vacant No. 11 shirt.

The 24-year-old has been ruled out of action for the opening matches of Tottenham’s season as he has suffered a couple of niggling injuries, though media speculation has suggested it is part of a tactic to force through the move.

Spurs have been busy in the transfer market, landing Spain striker Roberto Soldado from Valencia for a club record 30 million euros and are reportedly close to exceeding that figure with a move for Brazilian forward Willian from Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala.

The transfer window in Europe shuts on Sept. 2.