The saga of the summer is finally over.
Gareth Bale has left Tottenham Hotspur and joined Spanish giants Real Madrid in a world record transfer deal of $132 million (£85.6 million) after speculation stretched across the entire summer.
Bale, 24, will now hold the tag of the most expensive player in the world after sealing his dream move to the Santiago Bernabeu to play alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas and the rest of Los Galacticos. His contract is believed to be a six-year deal.
Tottenham’s press officer confirmed the move following Spurs’ 1-0 North London Derby defeat to Arsenal earlier this afternoon.
Soon after, the following statement appeared on Tottenham’s website from Chairman Daniel Levy.
“Gareth was a player we had absolutely no intention of selling as we look to build for the future,” Levy said. “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.”
Obviously Levy was upset, but reinforced how Tottenham tried to keep their star player and have since strengthened their squad considerably.
“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.”
Levy then thanked Bale for his contributions, 55 goals in 203 appearances since joining from Southampton in 2007, and wished him success in the future.
With the loss of their influential playmaker, Tottenham must now continue their charge for the top four without the man who dazzled last season and was crowned the PFA Player of the Year. Bale’s value has soared since his move to Tottenham as a 17-year-old, with the Welsh international attacker the most coveted player in world soccer this summer.
Bale’s move has been coming for a long, long time, but on the final full day of the transfer window he has finally departed for the Spanish capital.
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas spoke about Bale’s exit during his post-match conference at the Emirates, as AVB all but confirmed Bale’s exit and then thanked the player for his many stunning moments in a Spurs shirt.
“The player has been an absolute wonderful player, he’s going to try Real Madrid, so we wish him all the best. He has left us with great memories from last season, which I think every Tottenham fans cherishes. But he has moved on and we move on as well.”
More reaction on the world record transfer of Gareth Bale as the day goes on.