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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Football

Bale bids teammates goodbye as Real deal looms
AFP
London, August 03, 2013
First Published: 15:48 IST(3/8/2013)
Last Updated: 15:53 IST(3/8/2013)

Tottenham take on Monaco on Saturday without Gareth Bale, who misses the pre-season friendly in the Principality through injury ahead of a likely defining week for his forecast world record transfer to Real Madrid.

The Wales superstar bid "an emotional farewell" to his teammates in London on Friday, autographing their shirts before they left for Monte Carlo,  according to a report in The Sun.

The Spurs forward sits out Saturday evening's match, and may also miss Wales' friendly against Ireland in Cardiff on August 14, with a minor hamstring problem.

As Bale works on his fitness, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will sit down for his first face-to-face talks with his Real Madrid counterpart Florentino Perez in Miami next week, possibly on Wednesday, The Times suggested.

Real are in Florida where Levy has a holiday home for a pre-season warm-up.

They are keen to see Bale at the Bernabeu ahead of their opening league game against Real Betis on August 18.

The 24-year-old is set to become the most expensive player of all time, an honour currently held by Cristiano Ronaldo who moved from Manchester United to Real for €94 million ($125 million, £82 million) in 2009.

Levy is reportedly holding out for a transfer fee in excess of £105 million while Real are looking to strike a deal at around £85 million with a makeweight, possibly Fabio Coentrao, thrown in.

On Friday, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claimed Bale's proposed mega transfer made a mockery of UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules.

"It makes a joke of it. It's quite amazing that in the year where the Financial Fair Play comes in, the football world has gone completely crazy," the Frenchman said.

"You wonder what kind of impact and effect it has on the football world. It looks like it has made everybody worse than before."


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