Transfer fees still increasing as Real Madrid close in on Gareth Bale

By Andrew McEwen Source:Global Times Published: 2013-8-26 23:23:01

Four years ago, he was a ­second choice, failing left back at ­Tottenham Hotspur.

Today, he might be earning a handy 10 million euros ($13.37 million) a year.

It's sad to think we will not be able to watch Gareth Bale rampaging through Premiership sides this season and we get stuck with Luis Suarez ­instead.

Bale, at time of writing, ­appears to be finally on his way to Real Madrid for a not-too-shabby­ 86 million pounds ($134 million), a deal described as "disrespectful" by Barca's new coach Gerardo Martino.

"Bale is a very good player," said the Argentinian, "but the numbers involved in this transfer show a lack of respect to the world in general."

Of course Barca paid a mere 57 million euros for Brazilian international Neymar, ­obviously a completely ­different thing and in no way disrespectful.

Bale's fee would top the 80 million pound record that Cristiano Ronaldo set when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009, making him something of a ­galactico among galacticos.

"Everybody will want a slice of him," said former Real ­Madrid winger Steve McManaman. "Everybody will want to speak to him about his car, shoes, whether he's had a ­haircut, what house he lives in, who's his gardener."

Bale flew into Marbella by private jet on Saturday. The No.11 shirt which the 24-year old Welshman wore at White Hart Lane has been left vacant at Real Madrid in expectation of their new signing. The luxury complex where Bale is staying was being staked out by the sports media on Monday, with talk of a glitzy signing ­ceremony ahead. The club has reportedly erected a temporary stage at the Bernabeu.

So Real Madrid have their marquee signing and Bale has the stage he deserves, but one wonders amid all these headline-grabbing signings, what­ever happened to UEFA's much-touted financial fair play rules? So far, the chief change appears to be a noticeable upturn in club spending.

Doubtless after a thorough investigation led by Michele Platini, Real will be fined, Bale returned to London and ­Neymar to Santos. Manchester City and Chelsea will be told to play in the Blue Square Premier League and China will win the World Cup.

The author is a Beijing-based freelance writer.

Posted in: Extra Time

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