MADRID: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has defended the world record signing of Gareth Bale as “cheap” in the club’s overall transfer strategy writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

While Bale faces a race against time to be fit for the weekend derby against Atletico, Perez was justifying his £85m arrival during a book launch in the Estadio Bernabeu.

The billionaire property developer, having seen off critics of the club’s financial position last weekend, explained that big-money signings generated even more money for the club’s coffers.

Madrid have been criticised for the ‘morality’ of the price paid for Wales forward Bale by, among others, new Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino

Perez responded: “Bale was comparatively cheap in the overall balance. Tottenham did not want to sell. We understood that. But we also understood that Manchester United wanted to make an offer so we did as well.

“However the wish of the player was to come to Madrid.

“All important players who come to play for us help us to generate greater revenues. That is why we put our faith only in top players. For example, Isco will be a spectacular signing, as will Illarramendi.

“We want hungry players like these.”

Purchase value

Perez then addressed the financial issues of player purchasing.

He said: “When we signed Zinedine Zidane, for a lot of money, we changed our shirt sponsor from Teka, whose deal was worth 400m, for Siemens and a new contract worth 4,000.

“As for Kaka, it’s true he did not have much luck from a sports point of view, but from the economic angle he was very valuable. He and all these players have seen us go from a turnover of 100m to 900m and more.”

Perez was speaking at the launch of the eighth and latest edition in a book series entitled Corazones Blancos by journalist Enrique Ortega.

The latest volume focuses on the Real Madrid careers of Francisco Gento, Amancio Amaro, Emilio Butragueno and the Brazilian Ronaldo.

Gento, Spain left-winger in the 1950s and 1960s, remains the only player to have won the European Champions Cup six times.

** Gareth Bale has found a home for his family in Madrid, taking over the property in exclusive La Finca vacated by Kaka on the Brazilian’s deadline day return to Milan.


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