Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has claimed that he would not have splashed €100 million on Welsh star Gareth Bale.
24-year-old Bale, who enjoyed an outstanding Premier League campaign with former club Tottenham last season as he became only the third man to win both PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year, finally completed his world-record move to Real Madrid last weekend after a protracted transfer saga that rumbled on throughout the summer.
Real had intended to complete the deal much earlier, but Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy's steely determination to ensure that his club were adequately compensated for the loss of their prize asset saw the negotiations drag on for a number of weeks.
Yet despite the mammoth sum Real were eventually forced to relinquish in order to secure Bale's services, Barcelona president Rosell insists that he would not have been keen to complete the same deal.
Speaking on Spanish TV, Rosell, who has been president of the Catalan giants since replacing Joan Laporta in July 2010, said: "I wouldn’t have paid €100million for Bale, but if they (Real) did, it’s because the members allow it, there’s nothing more to say."
While Real were intent on ensuring Bale became the latest 'Galactico' this season, Barcelona completed their own star signing this summer with the impressive June capture of Brazilian wonderkid Neymar for a reported fee of €57 million.
The former Santos star, whose partnership with Argentine icon Lionel Messi has the potential to become one of the greatest of all-time, has featured on three occasions in La Liga for Barcelona so far this season, registering one assists and no goals.
Bale, meanwhile, who is currently away on international duty with Wales, could make his Real bow on September 14 as Carlo Ancelotti's side travel to face Villarreal. Although he hasn't actually played for a number of weeks, Real are believed to have put Bale on a specially-tailored fitness regime to ensure he is able to feature.