If Bale leaves Tottenham then Southampton gave up £21.25m for quick buck and flop keeper

How could Real Madrid's £85 million move for Gareth Bale be hard to stomach for Southampton fans?

Today it has been reported that Real Madrid have actually made an official approach for the Tottenham Hotspur superstar Gareth Bale. In fact it is believed that the approach was made a week ago - for a grand fee of £85 million.

Spurs remain obviously reluctant to let their man go but the growing overtures in the press at the moment suggest that Bale is coming round to the idea of leaving - and becoming a Galactico.

Now while that will be devastating news for Spurs fans, there is no doubt that Southampton fans will also be aghast.

Southampton flogged Bale to Tottenham in 2007 - at the time a skinny left-back with a penchant for a free-kick - the Saints would never have dreamed he would go on to be worth such an astronomical amount of money.

But that is ok … surely Southampton had the foresight of putting a sell-on clause into any deal?

And you’d be right - they did.

Southampton had a 25% sell-on clause installed into his deal … so good news - Southampton are all set to cash in an incredible £21.25 million for the player.

If they hadn’t forgone their right to the clause back in 2008.

At the time Rupert Lowe (a very unpopular man on the South Coast I can assure you) was the chairman at the club and The Saints were in absolutely dire financial circumstances.

The situation was so bad the word liquidation was not simply a threat - it was a promise, if things did not change dramatically.

So before the late Markus Liebherr swooped in and saved the day Southampton had to do everything in their power in order to raise money.

Needing a quick buck, Lowe agreed to waive the sell on clause, and the extra money to be paid in installments - and instead take a smaller fee and young goalkeeper Tommy Forecast instead.

Forecast never played a game for Southampton, if you are wondering, and was released this summer after a loan spell at Gillingham.

You can’t really blame the Saints - needs must and at the time the money was an instant necessity.

And who honestly thought Bale was to become as good as he is now back in 2008 - when the likes of Championship side Nottingham Forest were chasing his signature.

Just to let you know though - Southampton target Leandro Damiao has an asking price of £22 million.

Saints could have pretty much bought him with the cash from a Bale sale.

image: © andybrannan

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