Bale’s value in the deal is incomprehensible to many, but of course he hasn’t always been worth that much.
From £5million when he joined Spurs from Southampton in 2007, one would imagine the only way was up on his way to being worth something between £80m and £120m in 2013, right?
In fact, 18 months into his tenure at White Hart Lane, Bale had struggled to find any sort of form at all and was reportedly set to serve as a makeweight in a deal which would see Tottenham lure Stewart Downing from Middlesbrough.
That’s right: less than five years ago, Bale was valued by some as Stewart Downing minus £15 million.
But, finding his form after two years and four months at the club, Bale scored twice in a 5-0 destruction of Burnley to end his losing streak of sporadic appearances for the North Londoners.
Nonetheless, that only raised his value back up to £3million, in the eyes of then-Birmingham boss Alex McLeish according to autumn 2009 reports.
The turning point in the evolution of the footballer we see in Tottenham’s 11 shirt today (well, for now) was his starring role in a thrilling hat-trick performance in the 2010 Champions League against Inter Milan.
That prompted a January 2011 bid of £40million from the Serie A side. Bale was a hot commodity at last.
Even two PFA player of the year awards couldn’t raise his value any further, it would seem, until this summer: Manchester United’s new boss David Moyes, looking for a big-name signing to make a statement in his new job, was linked to a £60 million approach.
That was nothing compared to the fees touted around by Marca and other publications in Spain as Real Madrid – who unveiled talented midfielder Asier Illarramendi to the sound of ‘We want Bale!’ from their fans – decided to pull out all the stops to give the Bernabeu faithful what they wanted.
The transfer appears to be a matter of time before it is confirmed. The fee looks likely to sit between a staggering £87 to £105 million.
Which begs the question: exactly how much would Real be willing to pay for Downing!?
Yes, we kid. Clearly, Downing remains priceless…