Predicting transfers is all about reading the signs. Tottenham changing their twitter photo; NBC taking off a huge poster of Gareth Bale in New York. It seems like Real Madrid, through months of using Marca and via that the British press are going to get their hands on the Welsh star, even if it’s going to cost then an unreasonable amount of money.
The thing to understand about the £100 million they are likely going to pay for Bale, which will turn into £200 million with his contract (a reported £7.8 million a year) and taxes, is that you don’t compare one Cristiano Ronaldo signing to anything else and declare: Ronaldo is the best player in the world, and the price we paid for him is what all other deals will be measured against.
Real Madrid want Bale, and they’ll pay through the nose for him. Tottenham sensed that by refusing to sell their best player they’re going to set some sort of record, and I’m not sure even Daniel Levy thought that the prices, through the eager to report media, would reach these heights of nine figures, or even get an Al-Qaeda mention.
The world doesn’t owe Real Madrid anything, but you remain the biggest club in the world, at least by perception, by going big all the time. Real Madrid aren’t about developing youngsters or the nurturing of talent. They’re about showing they’re the biggest and best all the time. They aspire for greatness, and anything less is failure. That mindset has made them set transfer records again and again -Figo, Zidane, Kaka, Ronaldo and now, probably Bale.
It has been the most tiresome transfer saga of the summer, but all the signs, including voices from Tottenham themselves, are pointing for it to be over. While you can keep a player on the team “against his will”, refusing the kind of money Real Madrid are offering is madness. This isn’t similar to Wenger clutching to Cesc Fabregas or Robin van Persie a bit too much. This is a case of an overrated player (At the moment) whose value somehow skyrocketed thanks to an aggressive media campaign by Real Madrid and the tabloids. Tottenham simply made the most of it.