'Great players pay for themselves' – Real Madrid president Perez hints at Bale signing

The Liga outfit have long been linked with a move for the Tottenham attacker, and the Blancos honcho has indicated that a deal for the 23-year-old would not be beyond their means
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has added further fuel to the speculation linking Tottenham attacker Gareth Bale with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu, saying great players are "never expensive".

Madrid's director of football Zinedine Zidane said only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had been more impressive than the Wales international last season, while Perez claimed Bale would be a worthwhile "investment" earlier this month.

The north London club are thought to be holding out for a world record fee for the 23-year-old, but Perez believes that great players, like Bale, can boost income and pay for themselves.

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"Players are never expensive or cheap," Perez told 20minutos.

"It depends on the performances that they provide. Figo, Zidane, Ronaldo and Beckham gave us a massive jump in income. If you invest if great players, you will have more income.

"That allows, firstly, the club to be independent and in the hands of the members, and, secondly, to attract other great players."

With reigning Liga champions Barcelona having signed Neymar for £48 million, Madrid are under pressure to respond with a big-money signing, and Perez admits he is always trying to recruit the best players in the world - but only for the right reasons.

"I try to make it that the best players in the world play for Madrid," Perez continued.

"But it's not necessary that every summer we bring in a big name for the media or their image because that only lasts as long as the presentation and not much longer.

"We want great footballers who work hard and understand this club and its history. Those that know me, know I always want the best to come to Madrid."