Bale completes Real Madrid move

The double PFA Player of the Year winner has finally sealed his move to the Santiago Bernabeu after months of negotiations and public posturing from all parties
Real Madrid have completed the signing of Gareth Bale from Tottenham on a six-year deal.

Goal understands the two clubs agreed a world record £86 million fee for the Welshman at the beginning of last week, only for the deal to be delayed until Spurs had signed replacements.

12/1 Gareth Bale is 12/1 with BetVictor to win the Ballon d'Or
After losing out to Chelsea for Anzhi Makhachkala attacker Willian, they completed a deal for Erik Lamela from Roma on Friday afternoon, as well as signing Christian Eriksen from Ajax.

The Spanish club have now announced that Bale will move to the Santiago Bernabeu to conclude one of the summer's most protracted, and inevitable, transfer sagas. He will be unveiled at 12:00BST on Monday before facing the press.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has said: "Gareth was a player we had absolutely no intention of selling as we look to build for the future. He is a player whose career we have fostered and developed and he was only a year into his new four year contract.

"Such has been the attention from Real Madrid and so great is Gareth's desire to join them, that we have taken the view that the player will not be sufficiently committed to our campaign in the current season.

"We have, therefore, with great reluctance, agreed to this sale and do so in the knowledge that we have an exceptionally strong squad to which we have added no fewer than seven top internationals. More importantly, we have an immense team spirit and a dressing room that is hungry for success.

"We wish Gareth all the best in the future and he shall always be welcome at the Lane."

Madrid have pursued the 24-year-old all summer, with a number of the club's players declaring their support of the prospective transfer in the media.

Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett hinted that his client would be interested in a move as far back as May, before reappearing on Spanish television in July to again suggest that a move could be in the offing.

Speculation increased at the end of July when Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas failed to deny that Madrid had lodged a massive offer for the double PFA Player of the Year, signalling a change in tact from the Portuguese and the north London club as a whole.

Bale returned to training following injury at the beginning of August, having already made clear that he wished to move to the Spanish capital. The two clubs continued to hold talks over a fee, with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy holding out for close to £100m, a figure which would have shattered the £80m paid by Madrid to Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.

With Madrid expecting the transfer to be completed, the club erected the balcony which was to host Bale's unveiling as early as last Friday. The Spanish club had earlier listed replica 'Gareth Bale 11' shirts on their official website, though they since claimed that they had no control over the merchandising section.

Having agreed a deal at the beginning of the week, it appeared Bale would finally complete his protracted move. However, Spurs delayed the official announcement until they had signed a replacement - Lamela - while reports suggesting a second club had entered the running to sign the winger.

These tactics angered Bale, however, and he failed to report to training as he awaited confirmation of his big-money move.

Confusion looks set to surround the official fee that Madrid will pay for Bale, with reports in Spain suggesting that los Blancos will not publicly admit that they have broken the world record they set when signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United as they do not want to agitate the Portuguese attacker.