What has been abundantly clear throughout the so-called 'Galactico' era at Real Madrid that has been largely masterminded by club president Florentino Perez, is that the club have grown used to repeatedly getting their own way during transfer negotiations.
The Spanish giants tend to follow the same trusty formula when seeking to acquire the latest global superstar, which usually results in the player giving into the considerable allure of the Santiago Bernabeu while clubs subsequently find themselves unable to resist the predictably sizeable financial rewards on offer. In the shape of Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, however, it would appear that Real have finally met their match.
Throughout the summer, the La Liga title hopefuls have certainly made no secret of their desire to complete the signing of Spurs' Welsh phenomenon Gareth Bale. The 24-year-old has been reportedly subject to several offers from Real, yet with the window for business rapidly diminishing, the protracted saga rumbles on with no clear end in sight as Levy and Spurs outrightly refuse to be bullied into a fast sale of their prize asset.
Levy's attitude towards the deal is as refreshing as it is commendable. With the transfer deadline looming, many clubs would be forced into accepting a bid for fear of running out of time to secure adequate replacements. Spurs, however, have been actively seeking to strengthen throughout the summer, and are reportedly close to sealing a deal for Roma's Argentine starlet Erik Lamela.
Levy surely knows that the club are likely to lose Bale eventually, but in ensuring the club will not be left desperately scrambling to secure signings in the aftermath of his departure, the 51-year-old has undoubtedly given Spurs the upper hand during the haggling process.
Real are clearly growing frustrated in their pursuit of Bale, with the club initially hoping to unveil him to supporters this week on a specially erected stage at the Bernabeu. This rare sense of frustration is again likely to work in Spurs' favour, ensuring Levy is able to get the best deal possible.
After all, if Madrid's frustration did eventually result in them ending their well-documented interest in Bale, Spurs being left with the player on their books for another season would hardly be disastrous. Any potential financial complications could be offset by securing a place in the top four - a task that would be far easier with Bale still in the squad - and although the player himself would be unhappy at not being allowed to join Real, he is hardly likely to make himself unavailable for selection and subsequently damage his chances of making the move in the future.
In reality, Bale will surely still complete his dream move to the Spanish capital before the transfer window closes on September 2, but it will be almost certainly as part of a deal that is beneficial to Tottenham's future. The club that have become so accustomed to getting their own way have finally met their match. And long may it continue.
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