REAL Madrid captain Iker Casillas has lavished praise on Tottenham’s Gareth Bale as the Spanish club seek to prise him away from north London in a world record transfer.
Spurs have already rejected one offer of £86m for the Wales forward, while reports in Spain claim Real have been told it will cost £126m to persuade the Premier League outfit to sell.
Bale is due back at Tottenham training today following their pre-season trip to Hong Kong, having had talks with chairman Daniel Levy on Monday, when it is thought he reiterated his desire to join Real.
Casillas yesterday welcomed the prospect of Bale joining Carlo Ancelotti’s team, calling him one of the continent’s finest, and played down suggestions Spurs are unhappy at Real’s move.
“We are talking about one of the top three or four best players in Europe and it’s normal that his name is being discussed because he has all the qualities a footballer needs,” said the Spain goalkeeper.
“Every transfer is controversial in its own way, for better or worse, but we are speaking about a very good, decisive player. I’m sure we will make another signing before the transfer window shuts.”
Tottenham appear to be facing a struggle to retain Bale, even if the fee looks set to comfortably surpass the £80m Real paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo and earn Spurs more than £70m profit.
Yet their former manager David Pleat has warned the 24-year-old that it may be too soon for him to move overseas.
“I think he is a little bit young to go abroad,” said Pleat. “I doubt he’d find it easy. Many have failed when they have moved overseas. Most have had a difficult time.”