Transfer talk

Calderon critical of Gareth Bale pursuit

August 29, 2013
By Dermot Corrigan, Spain Correspondent

Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon says his successor Florentino Perez has acted "arrogantly" while pursuing Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale, and claimed that a world record transfer could backfire by unsettling Cristiano Ronaldo.

GettyImagesRamon Calderon's association with Real Madrid ended under a cloud four years ago

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Perez has made no secret of his wish to sign Bale from Spurs this summer, appearing in the media regularly in Spain and elsewhere to discuss a mooted €100 million-plus deal.

Madrid also reportedly angered Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy by preparing a stage at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu to present their new signing, even though the final details on the move have yet to be agreed.

Calderon, a regular critic of Perez, told the Daily Telegraph that his rival could do with acting a lot more humbly.

"The president in some cases is behaving with a bit of arrogance," Calderon said. "When you are very powerful, like Real Madrid is, you have to be humble. It is what I did. You can't go over the world just pushing things to the limit. It seems like the club, Real Madrid, thought that everything was done. Everyone thought they could show a picture of the stage where Bale was going to be presented to the fans."

The lawyer, who stepped down from his former position at Madrid amid allegations of vote-rigging in 2009, also explained that Bale's arrival could cause issues between Perez and Ronaldo, especially as the Portuguese's contract talks remain deadlocked.

"I don't think [Ronaldo] is going to be happy with [the Bale transfer]," said Calderon, who regularly claims it was he and not Perez who agreed the current world record €96 million deal for Madrid to sign Ronaldo from Manchester United. "The extension of the contract is going to be a problem in this case, with that amount of money paid for Bale."

The proposed transfer - and especially the size of the fee involved - has also been criticised by Hristo Stoichkov.

The former Bulgaria and Barcelona striker told Al Primer Toque that it was especially risky considering the mixed past record in La Liga of players who arrived from English clubs.

"No English player who has come to Spanish football has been a success," Stoichkov said of the Welsh player. "If Bale is worth €100 million, I am priceless."

Stoichkov, who did not always see eye to eye with his coaches or fellow players during his own playing career, also criticised Bale for staying away from Spurs training in an apparent attempt to push the move through.

"Bale is showing a lack of respect for his team-mates at Tottenham by not going to train," he said.

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