- Premier League
Bale 'agrees personal terms' with Madrid
Gareth Bale has reportedly agreed personal terms with Real Madrid ahead of his world-record move from Tottenham.
According to BBC Sport, Bale has struck personal terms with Madrid, and all that is left to be finalised is the transfer fee, with an offer of £86 million being submitted by Madrid.
Madrid had erected a stage at the Bernabeu and had seemingly expected to present the player there on Tuesday, but Bale - who had been in Marbella over the weekend - flew back to England on Monday.
The club's vice-president Fernando Fernandez Tapias confirmed Madrid had expected the player to be available for Thursday night's Trofeo Teresa Herrera friendly at Deportivo La Coruna, but he said Spurs were holding up the signing.
Bale could be confirmed as a Madrid player on Friday evening after Spanish newspaper AS reported the deal to take him has been finalised.
Sources close to both Tottenham and Madrid have informed ESPN that confirmation is imminent.
Friday saw a flurry of meetings between the three relevant parties, with the player's representatives having a last meeting with Spurs' chairman Daniel Levy, and Bale's lawyers finalising the details of the contract with Real.
It is understood, however, that the basic details of the forward's wage and contract length were agreed in principle weeks ago before Spurs put the skids on the deal. Bale is expected to earn €160,000-a-week after tax. The Spanish press have also been reporting that Adidas - who are Real's kit manufacturers - sent over all the player's relevant kit to the club on Friday morning.
It is still unknown whether the move will end up breaking the world transfer record, as it has been intimated in Madrid that political reasons may bring it under the €96 million paid to Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009. AS reports the fee will be €91 million.
Earlier on Friday, Madrid remained hopeful an agreement over Bale would be reached but have admitted there are "problems" as Tottenham are dragging their feet over the deal.
"There are problems, but I think it will all be straightened out," he said. "We thought he'd be here [for the Deportivo friendly], but he hasn't even flown to Madrid yet, although it could still happen. I think it will happen, but I couldn't swear to it completely. We have to wait, because Spurs are stalling."
AS reports that Bale could even be presented in mid-September should the deal be delayed until Monday, the final day of the transfer window, due to the fact he is set to join up with the Wales squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
In any case, Fernandez Tapias is confident that Madrid have a squad capable of a successful season even without their primary target.
"I have no doubt of Bale's ability but, without Bale, Real is still a force to be reckoned with," he added. "We have an amazing team."
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Levy is stalling on the deal until his club complete the signings of Roma winger Erik Lamela, Ajax midfielder Christian Eriksen and Steaua Bucharest defender Vlad Chiriches, but Lamela and Chiriches have since put pen to paper at the club.
Spurs - having seen Willian join Chelsea after undertaking a medical with them only to perform a late U-turn - do not appear in the mood to take any chances.
"At the moment I can't tell you anything because players can have medicals and they can end up in different places," head coach Andre Villas-Boas said after his side's 3-0 victory over Dinamo Tblisi on Thursday night.
Villas-Boas, though, offered little insight into the current status of the Bale transfer.
"I have no idea," he said. "The chairman is in control of the situation. Whatever happens happens." Mesut Ozil, who has already said he has no plans to leave Madrid regardless of the Bale signing, told Bild he would be happy to see him arrive.
"We would welcome any reinforcement of the squad, so I have no problem with him coming," he said. "I am not going to leave just because there is more competition for places."
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