Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has claimed that Tottenham received a higher offer for Gareth Bale than the £85 million that eventually took him to the Santiago Bernabeu prior to the close of the summer transfer window.
Welsh star Bale, who enjoyed a thoroughly impressive individual campaign at White Hart Lane last season and became only the third man to win both PFA Footballer of the Year and Young Player of the Year, was the subject of a protracted transfer pursuit that lasted throughout the summer as Spurs chairman Daniel Levy displayed a steely determination to ensure the club were well compensated for the loss of their most marketable asset.
While Manchester United were also rumoured to hold an interest in acquiring the 24-year-old, It was widely believed that only Real were willing to pay the sort of astronomical fee Spurs were demanding for his signature.
Ancelotti however, who is in his first season in charge in the Spanish capital, has claimed that Tottenham actually received a higher bid for Bale from another club.
"I know Tottenham had higher offers than Real Madrid's," he was quoted by the Daily Express.
"I don't know how much was paid, but I do know they had a better offer. The player's desire to come here was what made the difference."
The Italian was speaking ahead of Real's trip to Villarreal on Saturday, a game in which it is anticipated that Bale will make his debut in the iconic white strip. Such speculation was answered by Ancelotti, who confirmed that Bale would play some part in the fixture at Estadio El Madrigal despite his lack of match fitness.
"He will travel with the team and he will play. I don't know if he will start, but he will definitely take part. I don't know if it will be from the start; I still have to make that decision. But he's going to play.
"He's missed out on a normal preseason, but it is not the time to push him out of the team. He's going to train and play at the same time. He's fine. He's very excited and very motivated. His fitness isn't perfect, but it's not bad.
"He will play on the right flank," he added.
Real have enjoyed a solid start to the new domestic campaign, with three consecutive victories over Real Betis, Granada and Athletic Bilbao leaving them fourth in the La Liga standings on goal difference.