Bale transfer sealed with record 100 million euro fee
Spanish soccer giants Real Madrid have broken the world transfer record in soccer after signing Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur for £85.3 million (100 million euros or $132 million).
The sum exceeds the 93 million euros paid for Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo to move from Manchester United to Real Madrid.
The nine time European Champions League winners have never been afraid of splashing the cash. Real Madrid have now broken the transfer record five times in a row, signing player such as Luis Figo for 60 million euros in 2000 and soccer legend Zinedine Zidane for 75 million euros in 2001.
Bale said the move to the Bernabeu is a "dream come true" but acknowledged the role Tottenham played in his career.
"I am well aware that I would not be at the level I am today were it not for, firstly Southampton, and then Spurs, standing by me during some of the tougher times and affording me the environment and support they have," he said in a statement.
"Tottenham will always be in my heart and I'm sure that this season will be a successful one for them. I am now looking forward to the next exciting chapter in my life, playing football for Real Madrid."
Bale set the English Premier League alight last season, scoring 21 goals in a number of match winning performances.
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Transfer costs for England's Premier League soccer clubs are also set to hit new record levels this season, according to research by Deloitte.
Premier League clubs have already splashed out £ 430 million ($666 million) in 2013 on signing up new players, around 15 percent higher than this time last year.
Analysts forecast transfer costs will smash through the £500 million record set in 2008, when Robinho (Robson de Souza) moved to Manchester City for £32.5 million and Dimitar Berbatov signed for Manchester United for £30.7 million.
"This summer looks set to be a record for the Premier League in gross, and quite possibly also net transfer spending," Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said.
"Clubs have already spent over £400 million this summer, and with several large deals looking close to completion and a number of clubs still expected to do significant business, we will likely see the £500 million gross record broken by Tuesday morning."
The summer transfer window, which closes on Monday, has seen some major signings, with Fernandinho (Fernando Luiz Roza) moving to Manchester City for 40 million euros and Roberto Saldado joining Tottenham Hotspur for 30 million euros. In 2012, Premier League clubs spent 490 million pounds in the summer transfer window.
However, Jones said that transfer costs could be dwarfed by the extra revenue gained from increased broadcast deals signed this season.
"In a potentially record summer, it is important to consider this level of spending in the wider financial context of the Premier League. The 2013/14 season will be the first in which clubs will benefit financially from the increased broadcast deals and we are seeing this translate into increased spending," he said.