Saturday 24 September 2016

LEAKED - Documents show how Real Madrid claimed Gareth Bale deal was not world record to keep Ronaldo happy

Published 21/01/2016 | 09:53

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale's move to Real Madrid has been confirmed as a world-record transfer - despite Real Madrid's attempt to keep it under wraps.

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Real have always maintained in public that the deal which took Bale to the Bernabeu from Tottenham in 2013 was not as big as the one that secured Cristiano Ronaldo's switch from Manchester United in 2009.

The La Liga club said that the Bale deal was worth €91.59million, with Ronaldo's fee eclipsing that at €96million - although the British media have always insisted that the Bale transfer was indeed a world record.

But the finer details of the contract have now been revealed in the Spanish media for the first time, with AS reporting that Bale's fee amounted to €100,759,418 after they opted to pay Spurs in instalments rather than up front.

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AS - quoting the football website Football Leaks - also claim that the document detailing the deal, which runs to six pages, specified that Real would issue a press release stating that the price of the deal was €91.59million. It also stipulates that Spurs could not reveal any financial details surrounding the transfer to the media.

In section 16 of the document, Real also declared that they would ensure Bale would not make any negative or derogatory comments about Spurs, the club's chairman Daniel Levy or any of its staff.

The significance of the story might be slightly lost on a British public who had always considered Bale's transfer to be a world record, but in Madrid the revelations are likely to have political repercussions.

It has long been thought that Real's insistence that Bale's fee was not as large as Ronaldo's was part of a concerted effort to appease their talismanic forward.

The Sunday Times journalist Jonathan Northcroft claimed earlier this month that he had been asked not to refer to Bale's transfer fee as a world record in an interview he had conducted with the Wales international.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: "Real Madrid are a club so worried about image that when I interviewed Bale it was requested to me, 'don't put in the article how much Gareth Bale cost'.

"The reason for that is because it was a world record transfer fee but Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't like to see that someone else cost more than him."

Ronaldo's future at Real remains a matter of intense speculation, with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United both keen to sign him at the end of the season.

Spanish newspaper Marca, meanwhile, say that Bale's fine form this season will be rewarded with a new contract that could keep him at the club until 2021.

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