Real Madrid fans don't want €100 million Bale

Our man in Madrid, Tim Stannard, polls the locals

Deep down, the Spanish are just like the rest of us. They put on their trousers the same way when getting up for work at 11 in the morning and after the first and second siestas of the day. And on completion of the evening nap, of course. So these fine people are just as baffled as everyone else as to why Florentino Perez seems hellbent on emptying the club'™s bank account for Gareth Bale.

After all, it's not as if Real Madrid fans are unhappy at the summer transfer dealings so far. For once, they've bought Spanish talent: Dani Carvajal, Asier Illarramendi and Isco. No Julien Faubert in sight.

The squad is already competitive, with plenty of options in particular up front. The chances are that Isco, Mesut Ozil, Angel di Maria and Kaka are already going to be scrapping for two spots, so the pursuit of the Spurs player seems all Moby Dick and a little obsessive.

Figures of up to €110m are being chucked about in the pages of AS and Marca as per Bale's transfer fee, a significant amount higher than the sum paid for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009. While the Welshman is no slouch on the football field, only about two players in the world these days are worth that kind of money. One of them already plays for Real Madrid.

The papers' polls suggest that everyone else thinks Florentino is barking mad to part with such a huge amount of money. In a Marca survey, 86.3% said that the club shouldn't pay more than €100m. Just over half the 108,000 respondents to AS said that Bale is worth between €60m and €70m.

It's a sensation shared by La Liga Loca'™s Real Madrid-supporting fishmonger who looked utterly unenthused by the arrival of Bale. 'œThey come, they go,' he shrugged, 'œit'™s too much money.'

œThey come, they go. It'™s too much money."

- LLL's fishmonger

Whilst Perez can't resist an ego-stroking, Galactico big splurge every now and again -“ and to be fair, the last whopper was some four years ago -“ the pursuit of Bale seems to be a direct response to the arrival of a certain Brazilian at the Camp Nou.

'œI think Bale will come because Florentino needs to get revenge for the big move of Neymar,' writes AS editor Alfredo Relano, 'and because his model consists of continuously loading up the plate with attractive signings.'

Should Bale come to the Santiago Bernabeu -“ and merciful Zeus, let it all be over soon -“ there are going to be two big losers in the deal. The first will be the Welshman himself, who will be bogged down with a humungous transfer fee that overshadows his talent. He won't even have a specific tactical position to play in and could be shuffled about the pitch, rather like the treatment Cesc Fabregas has endured at Barcelona.

The other big loser? The mass of Real Madrid club members, who technically own the institution. Although Florentino Perez will be looking for some reflected glory in the Bale deal, the only reason he can potentially pay up to €100m for the Spurs man is that it's not his own money in play. That makes negotiating considerably easier.

If the transfer takes place and ends up a success, the Madrid president will look very good indeed and it can only benefit Real Madrid in footballing terms. However, any problems and there could be serious dissent in the Madrid masses. After all, they know like everyone else that the capital city side could be hugely overpaying for a footballer that the team does not really need.


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