Bale is the Real deal! Madrid move finally confirmed as Spanish giants announce £86m world-record signing of Spurs winger
- Madrid confirm Bale has joined - ending the big saga of the summer
- The fee is a world record £86m - beating the £80m Real paid for Ronaldo
- Wales winger Bale thanked Spurs for 'six very happy years' but admitted it was 'time to say goodbye'
- Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and boss Andre Villas-Boas wished Bale well
The Gareth Bale transfer saga was finally concluded on Sunday night when he moved to Real Madrid for a world-record £86million.
After negotiations that dragged on all summer, the Welshman has agreed a £256,000-a-week, six-year contract and will have a medical on Monday morning before being presented to the media.
In a move designed to keep Cristiano Ronaldo - signed for £80m in 2009 - happy at the Bernabeu, Real are claiming Bale's fee is £78m.
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He's here: Real Madrid's new recruit Gareth Bale poses with fans after arriving at Barajas Airport
On the move: Gareth Bale, out in London on Saturday, has finally completed his move to Real Madrid
Final shot: Bale is leaving Tottenham after featuring in just one pre-season friendly this campaign
NICE LITTLE EARNER
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas disclosed a deal had been reached minutes after seeing his side slip to a disappointing 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at bitter rivals Arsenal.
Bale, who arrived in Madrid late on Sunday night, said: 'I would like to thank everyone at the club, the chairman, board, staff, coaches and players - and most of all the fantastic fans who I hope will understand this amazing career opportunity.
'I am not sure there is ever a good time to leave a club where I felt settled and was playing the best football of my career to date. I know many players talk of their desire to join the club of their boyhood dreams but I can honestly say this is my dream come true.
'I would not be at the level I am today were it not for Southampton and then Spurs standing by me during some of the tougher times. Tottenham will always be in my heart and I'm sure this will be a successful season for them. I am now looking forward to the next exciting chapter in my life.'
Jumping for joy: Bale left White Hart Lane after scoring 55 goals in 203 matches for Spurs
He added on the club website: ''I have had six very happy years at Tottenham but it's the right time to say goodbye. We've had some special times together over the years and I've loved every minute of it.
'I would like to thank everyone at the club, the chairman, board, staff, coaches and players – and most of all the fantastic fans who I hope will understand this amazing career opportunity.'
Bale has been omitted from Andre Villas-Boas's squad this season after signalling his intent to join Real Madrid and after weeks of negotiations, the Spanish giants confirmed they have got their man.
Real erected a stage on the pitch ahead of the transfer last week, hoping to announce the star's arrival, but were made to wait as Spurs chairman Daniel Levy played hardball. Bale will be unveiled at midday UK time.
End of an era: Bale, who won the Player and Young Player of the Year last term, will leave Tottenham
Star man: But Andre Villas-Boas conceded defeat in his bid to keep Bale at White Hart Lane
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, known as one of the toughest negotiators in the game, was reluctant to lose his star man and played hardball right until the end.
But he sent bale on his way with his best wishes.
Levy said: 'We had no intention of selling Gareth. But such has been the attention from Real Madrid and so great is Gareth's desire to join them, that we have taken the view that the player will not be sufficiently committed to our campaign in the current season.
'We have, therefore, with great reluctance, agreed to this sale and do so in the knowledge that we have an exceptionally strong squad to which we have added no fewer than seven top internationals. More importantly, we have an immense team spirit and a dressing room that is hungry for success.
Waiting in the wings: Bale hasn't featured for Tottenham this season after signalling his desire to leave
Making the leap: Bale turned out sporadically for Spurs in pre-season because of injury
'We wish Gareth all the best in the future and he shall always be welcome at the Lane.'
Villas-Boas said: 'He is going to join Real Madrid so we wish him all the best. The player is an absolutely wonderful player.
'He has left us with some great memories from last season which every Tottenham fan cherishes, but he has moved on and we will move on as well.'
Bale joins a long list of illustrious players to have made big-money moves to the Bernabeu. Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo have all been given the 'Galactico' moniker following their high-profile transfers to Real, but none of them have cost as much as Bale.
Big stage: Bale will join a host of world stars at Real Madrid, including Cristiano Ronaldo
All smiles: Bale will be managed by former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti, who took over at Madrid this summer
Tottenham and Real have clashed several times during the transfer saga, which has brought the two clubs' partnership agreement into question.
First, Tottenham were unhappy with how several Real Madrid players spoke publicly about the possibility of Bale moving to the Bernabeu.
Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos and Isco were just three of the squad members to talk about the prospect of Bale becoming the latest star arrival, and manager Carlo Ancelotti also spoke openly about the player, much to Tottenham's annoyance.
The Spanish club then angered Levy even further by selling Bale replica shirts on their website.
Bale is certain to get a rapturous welcome, although Real fans hardly need another hero.
Ronaldo made it 202 goals in 202 games during a 3-1 defeat of Athletic Bilbao, Luka Modric had his name chanted by all four sides of the ground and new boy Isco scored twice.
Off the peg: Madrid shirts with Bale's name and No 11 were available to buy before the deal was complete