Gareth Bale is free to join Real Madrid after Tottenham agreed a world record ┬ú86million deal with the Spanish giants on Sunday night.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy signed off the staggering move for the PFA Player of the Year following talks with directors in the boardroom at White Hart Lane. BaleÔÇÖs transfer to Real beats the previous world record of ┬ú80m which Real paid to Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
Levy returned from talks in Madrid with BaleÔÇÖs agent Jonathan Barnett and Tottenham director of football Franco Baldini to watch his clubÔÇÖs 1-0 victory over Swansea City after agreeing the deal. It is understood that the decision to travel to Madrid to meet Perez ÔÇö who is known to revel in these situations ÔÇö was part of a tactic designed to get the highest possible price.
The fee represents an extraordinary return on the ┬ú7m Spurs paid Southampton six years ago and will only add to LevyÔÇÖs reputation as the toughest negotiator in the game.
It also brings to an end one of the most protracted transfer sagas in the history of the game following a summer of talks.
Football411 can reveal that Levy has agreed a series of discounts if Real can accelerate the three stage payments discussed during the meeting. They are staggered over the course of BaleÔÇÖs incredible ┬ú300,000-a-week contract for the next six years.
Bale has only played one pre-season game for Spurs and will need time to build match fitness
The world’s top ten transfers
- GARETH BALE (Spurs to Real Madrid, Aug 2013)┬á┬á┬á ┬ú85.9m
- CRISTIANO RONALDO (Man Utd to Real, June 2009)┬á┬á┬á ┬ú80m
- KAKA (AC Milan to Real Madrid, June 2009)┬á┬á┬á ┬ú56.1m
- EDINSON CAVANI (Napoli to Paris SG, July 2013)┬á┬á┬á ┬ú55m
- RADAMEL FALCAO (At Madrid to Monaco, May 2013)┬á┬á┬á ┬ú51m
- FERNANDO TORRES (Liverpool to Chelsea, Jan 2011)┬á┬á┬á ┬ú50m
- NEYMAR (Santos to Barca, May 2013)┬á┬á┬á ┬ú48.6m
- ZINEDINE ZIDANE (Juve to Real, July 2001)┬á┬á┬á ┬ú45.6m
- ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC plus Samuel Eto’o (Inter to Barca, July 2009) ┬á┬á┬á ┬ú40m
- HULK (Porto to Zenit St Petersburg, July 2012)┬á┬á┬á ┬á┬ú39.5m
It means Real could splash out around 10 per cent less than the agreed ┬ú86m ÔÇö but only if they are ahead of schedule with payments.
Levy, along with Barnett and Baldini, thrashed out terms with Perez last week. The last act will be played out when Levy and Perez sign a final formal document, but that is seen as a formality.
Real, who play Granada in La Liga this evening, plan to officially unveil Bale in a grand ceremony at the Bernabeu on Tuesday.
The deal has also been complicated by a series of bank guarantees demanded by Levy during the lengthy negotiations.
Bale originally told the Spurs chairman he wanted to leave during a tense meeting at the Barclays Asia Trophy at the end of last month.
By then the Spurs winger was aware Real were determined to buy him this summer after losing out to Barcelona for Brazilian wonderkid Neymar.
That prompted weeks of negotiations which have finally been concluded.┬áSpurs had hoped to bring in left back Fabio Coentrao as part of the package, but the Real defender doesnÔÇÖt want to leave Spain.
Bale, 24, spent two days at his agentÔÇÖs apartment in Marbella over the weekend and had planned to fly back to the UK last night.
He regularly heads to the south of Spain to stay at the exclusive development during time off which was approved by the club.
TottenhamÔÇÖs players have been given Monday off following their narrow win against Swansea on Sunday.
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas claimed Bale is expected at the training ground on Tuesday to resume a fitness programme, but his career in north London has come to a close.
Villas-Boas added: ÔÇÿThere is interest from Real and I hope to have more news for you in the next couple of days. We gave him two days off. We never force non-selected players to be present, they are not obliged to be there and regardless he is not training with the team.ÔÇÖ
Levy is also hoping to conclude talks with Roma for the transfer of Erik Lamela, but they are proceeding with caution following the botched attempt to sign Willian.
Spurs are still angry that Chelsea hijacked their ┬ú30m move for Willian on Friday. Villas-Boas said: ÔÇÿI have nothing to say about this other than good luck to him.ÔÇÖ
Lamela was in the Roma team which played Livorno last night, but Spurs are still hoping to┬á capture the Argentina forward.
Spurs are also close to completing a deal for Steaua Bucharest defender Vlad Chiriches, but the deal faces complications over a work permit.
The Romania international, 23, has agreed to join Spurs, but it is understood his work permit application could be difficult.
Villas-Boas said: ÔÇÿThere is an interest in the player ÔÇö but maybe someone will steal him as well. We looked to strengthen because of the departure of Steven Caulker (to Cardiff).ÔÇÖ
Villas-Boas also has decisions to make on two other players this week as he prepares for the transfer deadline on September 2.
Emmanuel Adebayor was offered to Real as part of the Bale deal, and Spurs are also willing to trade left back Benoit Assou-Ekotto after his mysterious disappearance from first-team training. He is out of the picture under Villas-Boas, losing his place to 23-year-old defender Danny Rose in the opening weeks of the season.