Gareth Bale: The never-ending story of the summer, by far.
On the heels of Real Madrid's coronation in Miami for the Guiness International Champions Cup comes news that may sway the Gareth Bale transfer meter a nudge in the direction of 'not happening'. According to 'The Telegraph', Daniel Levy refused a second meeting with the Real Madrid brass on Thursday because he doubts the Spanish side could realistically afford Gareth Bale.
The article cited above notes that Daniel Levy, Tottenham's firm-standing chairman that played an integral part in Real Madrid parting ways with more cash than it would have liked to for Luka Modric's signature a summer ago, quickly parted from the direction negotiations with Real Madrid president, Florentino Pérez, were heading this week.
The sticking point in negotiations is in terms of players heading back London's way from Madrid, on top of the exorbitant amount of money being thrown around as alleged selling prices (this article has Spurs valuing Bale at £104 million). Levy and Spurs have the proposed Real Madrid players Fábio Coentrão, Ángel Di María and Álvaro Morata as coming in at inflated prices relative to their own valuations. With the exception of Coentrão, these players are reportedly keen on staying put in Spain, which is another sticking point.
There seems to be considerable suspicion, according to 'The Telegraph', that Real Madrid are attempting to drag negotiations out long enough for the Welsh player to begin to demand a transfer, therefore tying Mr. Levy's hands behind his back.
If history (last summer) is any indication, such a strategy wouldn't drop Gareth Bale's price-tag to anything more reasonable for Madrid. Luka Modric certainly didn't come cheap. Regardless, the news today paints a picture of Levy and Pérez being much more distant on a Gareth Bale transfer than before.
Now, I'm always one for downplaying the results of preseason matches. But I think we saw a glimpse of what Carlo Ancelotti's team may look like with most of the pieces in place for last night in the 3-1 victory over Chelsea, and I daresay that the team we saw doesn't need Gareth Bale nearly as much as people may have thought going into the summer. But I think we can all agree that this Bale saga isn't so much about need in footballing terms as it is about want in football/marketing terms.