Europe news

Capello hails Spurs bargaining over Bale

October 21, 2013
By Ben Gladwell, Italy Correspondent

Russia manager Fabio Capello has praised Tottenham for the way in which they pushed up the price for Gareth Bale before selling him to Real Madrid in the summer.

Gareth Bale, Florentino Perez
GettyImagesGareth Bale joined Real Madrid for a world-record fee in the summer.

• Bale injury 'exaggerated' 

In an interview with Corriere della Sera, Capello claimed Spurs sat back and allowed a bidding war to ensue, resulting in a world-record transfer fee being paid for the Wales international.

And the former England manager also suggested that the North London club could have earned even more money with Manchester United prepared to stump up a sizeable sum for the forward.

“There was an auction and I know that somebody offered more than Real, going as high as 120 million euros,” Capello said. “I don’t think I’m revealing any secrets when I say that it was Manchester United. Compliments to Spurs, who were very clever.”

No Italian club participated in the Bale auction, with Capello once again underlining the gulf opening up between Serie A and Europe’s leading leagues -- the Premier League, La Liga and Bundesliga.

Capello’s former clubs Juventus and AC Milan will attempt to bridge that gap in Champions League clashes with Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively this week.

But while the sides can expect to play on similar playing fields, the economic factors of the two leagues are far from being on a par.

“It’s an uneven battle in favour of the Spaniards,” Capello said. “You just have to look at the last transfer window. They are already at the highest level, yet they carry on buying and improving, like it used to be with Milan, Inter and Juve in the old days. It’s all about finances: there are those who can, and those who can’t. It’s all about resources.

“When [Milan president Silvio] Berlusconi had the chance to intervene, he would do so. Now, with all he’s got to pay [Carlo] De Benedetti [due to a lost fraud case], and with the Italian crisis, he’s still doing all he can for Milan.” 

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