Published August 29, 2013
Tottenham Hotspur is in the 'final stages' of transferring Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.
Football’s new record transfer "is close to completion following a summer of tortuous debate and wrangling after Tottenham Hotspur finally admitted it was in 'the final stages' of transferring" Welsh player Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Tottenham said that "the deal was expected to eclipse" the £80M Real paid ManU for Cristiano Ronaldo in '09. It "would reinforce the Spanish club’s willingness to pay what it takes to secure the most sought-after players." It "would be the fifth consecutive occasion that the world transfer record has been broken by Real." Spending by Premier League clubs, which "are reaping the benefits of record-breaking TV rights deals," has already exceeded £460M ($714M) this season, approaching last year’s £490M and closing in also on the record £500M spent in the '08 summer transfer window. Other big-spending clubs over the summer have been Monaco, Man City, Paris St. Germain, Napoli, Chelsea and Barcelona. Clubs from England’s Premier League "have so far been the biggest net spenders collectively in Europe, followed by Spain’s La Liga." Italy’s Serie A clubs "have made the most net profit in the window from transfer deals" (FT, 8/28