While the deal has yet to receive official confirmation, the erection of Real Madrid’s ‘galacticos podium’ at the Bernabeu stadium means there’s no going back on Gareth Bale’s joining from Tottenham.
Madrid play on Monday evening against Granada, so Bale’s unveiling is expected to take place on Tuesday.
Bale, who will wear the number 11 shirt, is reportedly going to sign a six-year, £310,000-a-week contract and Spurs will receive a world-record £90 million for his services.
It will bring an end to an amazing transfer saga. Madrid’s chairman Florentino Perez has finally got the man he has chased all summer.
Bale ticks every box in defining a galactico.
Firstly, he has shown for Spurs that his talents are of superhuman proportions.
But secondly, and perhaps more importantly for Perez, Bale has the image of a galactico. His muscular physique along with his explosive football skills makes him a very marketable commodity.
Real never signed Ronaldinho nor have they moved for Luis Suarez. Both players would fit the playing criteria of a galactico but don’t have the marketable image to accompany it.
The only real question mark hanging over Bale’s head will be how he – and his childhood sweetheart Emma – adapt to life under the constant spotlight of the world’s press.
Even David Beckham, at times, cracked under the pressure of the Spanish paparazzi.
Bale will have been used to seeing himself billed as the poster boy of Welsh football but that will rev up to another level in Madrid.
It’s hard to get away from the fact that the Welsh wizard will become the most expensive player in the history of football. He has a target on his back and anything but perfection on a weekly basis will be jumped on from every angle.
When you think of galacticos you think of Figo, Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Bale has entered that territory now – and his life is never going to be the same again.