If Bale's worth nearly £100m, imagine what Pele, Best, Maradona and Co would cost! Here's my ultimate fantasy football team (see if you can match it)
He is also predominantly left-footed, a comparative rarity which adds to his transfer value.
But the best part of £100million?
Good luck to Gareth The Goal when he picks up his seven-figure percentage of Real Madrid’s extravagant desperation to compete with Barcelona’s capture of Brazilian prodigy Neymar.
You're not worth it: He is good but there's no way Gareth Bale could justify a near-£100m fee
He will need it to cope with the pressure of trying to justify himself as the world’s most expensive footballer in the cauldron of the Bernabeu.
Compared with the feeding frenzy coming in Spain, it was a picnic down White Hart Lane.
Is Bale worth that, even in today’s money-mad football world? Of course not. It would even be a stretch for Lionel Messi.
This is the total amount allowed by the Daily Mail’s Fantasy League for the compiling of an entire Premier League dream team.
Running away with it: Lionel Messi is currently the world's best player and would be worth around £225m
Legends: Great friends Pele and Bobby Moore would be in the team, as would Diego Maradona (right)
The Best: George would be in
No 1: Banks would be in goal
Master: Cruyff could turn it on
Which got me wondering what the ceiling would have to be for buying a team comprised of 10 of the greatest players of all time plus the one currently active maestro who has not cost a penny in the transfer market.
By the inflated valuation applied to Bale, what is Messi worth now? And what would Pele or Maradona cost today? Or Best and Beckenbauer.
So take this for an all-time World XI, if you can afford it, in 3-3-1-3 formation.
Dream team: Here is Jeff Powell's ultimate Fantasy Football XI
Now I’m not good at maths but I make that a super-cool £2.6billion.
But if you think you could pick a team to beat this one, on that mind-blowing budget, send us your line-up complete with the valuation of each player in the comments section.
To the selector of the team I consider to be the next best - to mine! - a bottle of champagne.
So under that know-nothing manger of theirs Arsenal only won 3-0 away to Fenerbahce, in one of the most hostile environments to be found in the Champions League.
So Arsene Wenger should have been sacked after losing to Aston Villa on Saturday and all he’s done since then is go to flame-throwing Istanbul and guarantee – barring outbreaks of plague or pestilence – a load more millions to spend if he can find players better than those he already has.
What on earth is the matter with the man?
Up in arms: But Arsene Wenger led Arsenal to a 3-0 win in Istanbul despite being derided by Gooners
Why can’t he do what almost all the other Premier League bosses are doing and squander fortunes on unexceptional foreigners to look good in the eyes of panicking punters – or just for the hell of it?
Le Professeur may be one of the few sane people in a crazy game. So that must be why so many at The Emirates are trying to think of someone to replace him.
So how odd that they haven’t come with any names.
Surely no-one could do worse, since that Monsieur Wenger is such an idiot.
Good to see Jose Mourinho back in ranting mode on Wednesday night, even if his Chelsea team were the beneficiaries of two result twisting decisions in their favour by a referee ironically named Friend.
Playing the luvvie is not his game and thank goodness it only lasted until the second match of his return to the Bridge. Blue in the face is his colour, not mellow yellow.
Blue in the face: Mourinho was back in full ranting mode on Wednesday
More importantly for Chelsea, treating Aston Villa’s justifiably miffed manager Paul Lambert to a tongue-lashing deflected some of the attention away from Branislav Ivanovic, who should have been sent off, and John Terry, whose hand-ball ought to have conceded a potentially equalising penalty.
It also camouflaged the cracks in an indifferent team performance.
Protecting his players is key to Mourinho’s man management and this was a clever example of that art.
The Special One’s comeback season has barely started but the lads will be ready to die for him, all over again.