Real Madrid have added another chapter to the return of their Galactico policy as, according to multiple reports, the La Liga royalty have placed an official £85 million fee for star winger Gareth Bale, of Tottenham Hotspur.
The 24-year-old has come a long way from a scrawny teenager who Southampton took a gamble on in 2005, especially as he was widely regarded to be a dud signing when he transferred to Tottenham Hotspur, failed to feature in a victory for over two years and was almost shipped out for £3 million.
He is, currently, the hottest asset in world football.
Features for a Southampton youth side at Norwich City's training ground and impresses the Southampton scouts enough to be formally invited to the Saints' academy.
April: Makes his professional debut for Southampton aged 16 years and 275 days.
August: Scores his first league goal… a free kick.
May: Signs for Tottenham Hotspur for an initial £5 million with the potential to rise to £10m, however, due to financial dire straits suffered at Southampton, a final fee of £7m was agreed a year later.
September: After a 24-losing run, Bale finally features in a Spurs victory, over two years after signing for the club.
October: During Harry Redknapp's tenure as Tottenham manager, Bale becomes linked with a move away from North London, to Birmingham City for a £3m fee. The press even dub him a 'flop'.
April: Bale scores the winner against Arsenal at home.
October: Scores a European hat-trick against Internazionale in the Champions League.
April: Wins PFA Player of the Year award.
Summer: Attracts attention from Barcelona and Chelsea but remains a loyal Lilywhite.
January: Featured in the UEFA Team of the Year, 2011
June: Signs contract extension that keeps him at White Hart Lane until 2016.
Summer: Changes squad number from 3 to 11, to confirm his move further outfield.
April: Wins PFA Player of the Year award, Young Player of the Year award and FWA Player of the Year award.
June: Finishes season with 26 goals.
30 July: Real Madrid bid a world record £85m for Gareth Bale.
Should Spurs cash in now or hold out for £100m? Will Bale want to force the move? Tell us in the comments below…
image: © James Boyes