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 reportedly set to become the world’s most expensive player should the deal go through with Real ready to pay more than the £80 million ($123.6 million, 93.2 million euros) they spent to bring Cristiano Ronaldo to the Bernabeu four years ago.
The newspaper claims that Bale flew into a private airport in Malaga at 1.00pm local time (1100GMT) before heading to Marbella, a coastal city 30 miles (48 kilometres) 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 were also forced to briefly shut down the club shop on their website earlier in the week after a link appeared offering Real shirts with Bale and the Number 11 on the back. Meanwhile, Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino has labelled the sum Real are set to pay for Bale as having a “lack of respect.”
Martino, whose own club spent 57 million euros to sign Brazilian Neymar back in May, lauded the Welshman’s ability but seemed surprised that 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 that he didn't expect Bale to attend his side’s Premier League match against Swansea City at 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 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.