Skip to main content

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale bid 'lacks respect' says Barcelona coach Martino

August 24, 2013 -- Updated 2203 GMT (0603 HKT)
The transfer window means football is rarely off the newspaper back pages in the off season. Much ink has been already been devoted to the question of whether Spurs' Welsh international Gareth Bale will join Real Madrid. The transfer window means football is rarely off the newspaper back pages in the off season. Much ink has been already been devoted to the question of whether Spurs' Welsh international Gareth Bale will join Real Madrid.
Real deal?
Real muscle
Rooney to Chelsea?
Fab return to England?
Manchester City revamp
Suarez wants out
Cavani choses PSG
Higuain makes Serie A switch
Monaco intent
Monaco swoop for Porto pair
  • Real Madrid expected to complete world-record signing of Gareth Bale next week
  • Coach of Real's Spanish rival questions need to spend so much in current climate
  • Barcelona's Gerardo Martino says the size of the reported fee "lacks respect"
  • Bale has not played for his English Premier League club Tottenham this season

(CNN) -- Gareth Bale's imminent transfer to Real Madrid for a reported world-record fee has been criticized by Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino.

With Spain struggling amid a tough global economic climate, Martino questioned the appropriateness of Real spending on just one player a figure reputed to be at least $125 million and possibly as much as $145 million.

"He's a very good player, but the numbers seem to me almost a lack of respect for the world in general," the Argentine told reporters on Saturday at a press conference ahead of Barca's trip to Malaga.

Bale, who plays for English Premier League club Tottenham, is next week expected to be unveiled as Real's fifth world-record signing since 2000.

Read: Is Gareth Bale worth $120 million?

It will reportedly happen after Madrid, seeking to win back the La Liga title from Barca, play Granada on Monday in the club's second game this season.

Barca spent $75 million to sign Neymar from Santos in June, but Martino said the Brazil striker is not guaranteed to start Sunday's match in Malaga despite the absence of the injured Lionel Messi.

The four-time world player of the year is being rested as a precaution after suffering a bruised thigh in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Atletico Madrid last Wednesday.

"Honestly, I am not worried because I think he is fine," Martino said of his compatriot.

"What happened the other day was coincidence. I think it is totally unnecessary to take risks at the start of the season."

Read: The transfer window explained

Neymar came off the bench to score the equalizer against Atletico, but Martino played down expectations surrounding the 21-year-old.

"I don't share this idea that says that Neymar must take over and take the lead if Messi is not there to do it," he said.

"We have Xavi, we have Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Alexis Sanchez, Pedro. There are too many players to expect Neymar to automatically be in the starting line-up.

"Nothing is going to shorten the time we think is necessary for Neymar to be ready."

Bale has reportedly already traveled to Spain, and will not play in Tottenham's home match with Swansea on Sunday.

Friedel: 'Bale can be world's best'
Javier Pastore is the most expensive player in French football history after he cost Paris Saint-Germain a fee believed to be $56 million. But Pastore is not the first footballer to have swapped clubs for a hefty price tag. Javier Pastore is the most expensive player in French football history after he cost Paris Saint-Germain a fee believed to be $56 million. But Pastore is not the first footballer to have swapped clubs for a hefty price tag.
Football's most expensive players
Football\'s biggest transfers Football's biggest transfers

The 24-year-old Wales international, who became the most sought-after talent on the planet following Neymar's decision to join Barca, also missed the London club's opening match of the EPL season last weekend.

Read: Turkish respite for Arsenal

Spurs have twice broken their club transfer record in apparent preparation for Bale's departure, signing Brazil midfielder Paulinho and Spain striker Roberto Soldado, while a $45 million deal for Willian was hijacked by Chelsea despite the Anzhi Makhachkala player having passed a medical at White Hart Lane last week.

In Saturday's EPL action, Liverpool joined Chelsea on two wins from two games after beating Aston Villa 1-0, as striker Daniel Sturridge followed up his goal from the opening victory over Stoke.

Arsenal, beaten by Villa last weekend, relieved the pressure on manager Arsene Wenger by defeating London rivals Fulham 3-1 as Germany forward Lukas Podolski scored twice and France striker Olivier Giroud netted the other for the visiting team.

Former Villa and England striker Darren Bent marked his Fulham debut with a goal after coming on as a second-half substitute, but Arsenal notched another morale-boosting win ahead of the second leg of the Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahce -- having won 3-0 in Turkey last Wednesday.

Everton drew 0-0 at home to West Brom, and there was also a stalemate between Newcastle and West Ham, while Southampton hit back to hold visiting Sunderland 1-1.

Hull beat Norwich 1-0 but fellow promoted side Crystal Palace crashed to a second successive defeat, losing 2-1 at Stoke.

In La Liga, Valencia crashed 3-1 at Espanyol despite taking the lead through Portuguese forward Helder Postiga.

David Lopez headed a 33rd-minute equalizer before second-half goals from Cristian Stuani and Thievy Bifouma sealed victory for the Barcelona-based team.

Real Sociedad came back to earth with a bump following last week's 2-0 win over Lyon in the final Champions League qualifying round, being held 1-1 at promoted Elche.

Mexico striker Carlos Vela saved Sociedad with a second-half leveler following Ferran Corominas' second-minute opener.

Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.