After months of speculation and one of the most painfully protracted transfer sagas since... well, Luka Modric went to Madrid, Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed in a lunchtime press conference at White Hart Lane that Gareth Bale will be sold to Real Madrid. The deal, while (still) not complete, is imminent, and marks the first time that anyone directly connected with Tottenham has admitted that he will be sold.
England's The Mirror newspaper is covering the press conference via a live stream and updates continue to come in. Here's what we know so far:
1. AVB has confirmed that the club is finalizing the transfer of Bale to Real Madrid. According to the Mirror:
AVB says that spurs are in the final stages of drafting Bale's contract with Real. "It's a dream move for him."
"This [transfer] can happen in a different way ... [but] Tottenham will accept most likely the biggest transfer in world football."
Villas-Boas suggested that the deal could be completed within the next 48 hours... but of course we've all heard THAT before. However, when the first team coach of Tottenham Hotspur comes out and says it, well that adds a bit more gravitas.
2. The Gareth Bale pressure is starting to get to AVB. He suggested that the team may start fining him as he has not reported for training in two days, and clearly isn't thrilled with the way Bale has handled himself over the past while.
"Obviously he is involved in a big transfer move to Real Madrid. In the end if it happens we wish him all the best.
"He will leave us here with great memories. The fact that he hasn't turned up, I don't know if it is the correct behaviour, in the end it is pressure and a statement from the player.
"Now it is up to the club to decide if it is a fineable offense."
Other tidbits from the press conference:
- The Mirror is also reporting that Erik Lamela is in London, meeting with Spurs officials. This is the strongest indication yet, along with Roma's signing of Adem Ljajic, that Lamela is set to sign with Tottenham. Reports are indicating that Lamela will sign for a fee of around £30m.
- Continuing the "Villas-Boas is unhappy" meme, The Mirror also reported that AVB is not pleased with Roy Hodgson for calling up Andros Townsend to the England squad. No quotes to that effect yet, though, so there's not a clear indication as to why he'd be upset.
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