The wind is howling. Furniture sporadically creaks. Every now and then, thunderclaps echo.
This is not a depiction of the current weather. It is actually a rather pleasant night. The sounds you hear are actually a CD that Daniel Levy plays in his office to make himself feel more comfortable.
When Tottenham Hotspur moved to new offices a year ago, Levy insisted on keeping his antique furniture and decor, only insisting on a designer casket to be placed in the corner of the office away from all the windows. Joe Lewis' three-room corner office with floor to ceiling windows makes the visitor feel like he's stepping into a modern space; Daniel Levy's office is a broom closet in comparison, featuring only a single window with a heavy curtain and a framed poster for the original premier of "Nosferatu" autographed by Max Schreck.
Florentino Perez walks out of the bathroom, disheveled in his appearance either due to the meeting's late hour upon Levy's insistence that a 3:00 am meeting makes him feel the most fresh or the fact that the bathroom has no mirror. No matter the circumstances, Perez insisted on traveling to London himself and not leaving until he flew back to Madrid with star winger Gareth Bale in tow. If that means meeting at 3:00 in the morning and not being allowed to put garlic on his pasta, he would do it.
"Like I said at dinner," Perez stated after a sip of coffee, "We're prepared to offer you a record price for Mr. Bale."
"That's very interesting," Levy retorted while peeling a blood orange. "Just exactly what is the source of your income?"
Perez begins, "Well, we, um, we plan to sell Bale jerseys all over the world..."
"I mean, you're in debt to all the major banks in Madrid, as well as being part of an economy that has no money," Levy interrupts, unblinking. "In addition, your two most expensive players are collateral for a loan that allows you to barely make your payroll. How do I know any bid you make will be good and will be paid?"
Perez looks down at his phone, fumblingly.
"Also, when we forged our partnership last year, you stated that there would be unique opportunities for both our teams. I'm just wondering why you think a down payment of a quarter of the price would suffice for the transfer of a player that is quite happy here in London as well as close to his home and his daughter."
"But he's been a Real fan all his life!" exclaims Perez, pulling up a picture of a young Bale in a Real jersey. "Marca even said so! See? 'Forward Bale Top Target!'"
Levy shifts his eyes to the picture, then back to Perez. "Mr. Perez, you do realize that you can't base everything off a newspaper with no quotes in the article. Plus, Gareth plays midfield, not forward. Also, you can't justify your bids by just continually changing the currency. The valuation is the valuation. You don't use Pesetas anymore, and one hundred million Euros is not the same as one hundred million Pounds. And what are Facebook Credits? Is that some kind of currency only used in Iberia?"
The mistake by Marca is not an unusual one. Perez has used Marca as his end all, be all source for transfer news, not realizing that it is a tabloid interested in selling papers and not actually guaranteed to be factual. This should have struck him as odd when it placed a 15 million Euro value on a 9 year old kid a reporter saw juggling a soccer ball on the streets of Madrid. Perez actually tried to bid 25 million for the kid before realizing that it was a ploy by one of the writers wanting to retire early and teaching his son to juggle. Marca also figured out years ago that forwards are more valuable than any other position, so it just started calling every player a forward, Perez easily could have seen through this ruse when it called legendary Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas a forward, but instead used this as a reason to increase his release clause. However, at this hour, that was the least of his worries.
Perez has succumbed to the lateness of the night, falling asleep sitting up holding his phone. It seems as though he will not be successful this trip.
No stranger to someone falling asleep during his late night meetings, Levy strolls over to an oversized arm chair and flips on the TV in his office invariably tuned to an episode of "True Blood."
Reports swirl about Manchester of a potential three way swap. Former Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo could be headed back to Old Trafford in a unique three-way transfer seeing wantaway striker Wayne Rooney end up at White Hart Lane while Real Madrid get their white whale in a Bale transfer.
Of course this is only a silly rumor bandied about by a talkSPORT talking head, but Nigel and Paul have taken this report as Gospel.
"Typical of the Glazers!" sneers Nigel, an overweight Mancunian sporting a green and yellow scarf over a commemorative 2008 Champions League Final Ronaldo jersey he purchased in the same transaction and the Old Trafford merchandise shop.
"Only interested in paying down someone else's debt!" gruffed Paul through a bushy mustache, wearing a matching scarf and a Sir Alex Ferguson Retirement Celebration shirt ordered through the clubs website.
"Ruining this club!" quipped Nigel while walking up to the windows at Old Trafford to, once again, pay for his season tickets.
In an effort to gauge interest in the Premier League in the US, NBC Sports sent interns into Times Square to ask random people about their interest in the Premier League as well as which team is their favorite.
Upon hearing the questions, Jason, a freelance graphics & web designer and actor with $65,000 in student loan debts from Hofstra sporting black bottlecap glasses, a fedora, a mustard yellow shirt with a black handlebar mustache graphic, and tight brown shorts launched into a diatribe about how Romanian Second Division soccer is "a much better, more pure form of football where the players don't trade places for millions of dollars."
He then put his white earbuds back in his hears and hopped back on his bike while mumbling about HP being able to spend millions on Times Square advertising while thousands of people in Africa are homeless and hungry.