In the wake of the news that Florentino Perez has been elected as Real Madrid president for another four-year term, the rumors of bids from Los Merengues for various big stars heated up on Sunday. In the same story where they linked Liverpool striker Luis Suarez to a £40m move to the Santiago Bernabeu, The Sunday Times reported that Madrid will bid a world record £85m for Gareth Bale.
Of course, because it's The Times, most of the story is behind a paywall. However, the tactic of promising big stars during a presidential campaign for Madrid is a familiar one. Perez won the presidency four years ago by promising he would deliver the new Galacticos, then proceeded to sign Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso in the same transfer window.
Perez has delivered on his promises to bring in big players before, but this situation might be different than the one in 2009. He ran unopposed, so he'll probably be under less pressure from the board and the fans to deliver stars of the caliber of Bale and Suarez. Given the aging of Barcelona's core and their problems in defense, it's conceivable that Madrid could win a domestic double next season without making any significant splashes in the transfer market.
In any event, if a bid of £85m comes in, Bale's probably off to Madrid. Daniel Levy's a stubborn mule, but even he can't turn down a world record transfer fee for a player who has only had one season where he consistently looked world class for the entire duration of the season. That fee could help Spurs buy four near-world class players or build a stadium debt-free. It's a no-brainer, as fantastic as Bale is.
I don't expect Madrid to actually follow through with a bid this big, but if they do, Levy's hands will be tied.