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Bale already in Spain ahead of move - reports

By Agence France-Presse in Madrid | China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-26 06:58

Bale already in Spain ahead of move - reports

Gareth Bale has arrived in Spain ahead of the completion of his move from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid, Spanish sports daily AS reported on Saturday.

Bale is said set to become the world's most expensive player should the deal go through with Real ready to pay more than the 80 million pounds ($123.6 million) it spent to bring Cristiano Ronaldo to the Bernabeu four years ago.

The newspaper claims Bale flew into a private airport in Malaga at 1.00 pm local time before heading to Marbella, a coastal city 48 kilometers away.

Several Spanish media sources printed pictures on Friday that showed a stage had been erected in the directors box at the Bernabeu which is normally used for the presentation of big-name signings.

And Real was also forced to briefly shut down the club shop on its website earlier in the week after a link appeared offering Real shirts with Bale and the No 11 on the back.

Meanwhile, Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino has labelled the sum Real Madrid is set to pay for Bale as having a "lack of respect".

Martino, whose own club spent 57 million euros to sign Brazilian Neymar in May, lauded the Welshman's ability but seemed surprised Los Blancos are set to break the world transfer record for a fourth time during Florentino Perez's two spells as president.

"Bale is a very good player and how they fit him into their team is up to them," said the Argentine on Saturday.

"But it seems to me that the numbers involved are a lack of respect to the world in general."

Due to injuries Bale hasn't played for Spurs since a friendly against Swindon Town on July 16 and Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas confirmed he didn't expect Bale to attend his side's Premier League match against Swansea City at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

"We have no rules or obligation for players not selected to be on the bench or in the stadium, so I don't expect Gareth to be seen at the club," Villas-Boas said.

Spurs have already spent almost 60 million pounds on four players during the transfer window in anticipation of Bale's departure.

However, their attempts to land Brazilian Willian from Anzhi Makhachkala appear to have stalled with the 25-year-old now expected to join Chelsea.

(China Daily 08/26/2013 page23)

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