Belfast Telegraph

Don't break bank for Gareth Bale, warns Real Madrid legend Raul

Real Madrid's all-time leading goalscorer Raul has criticised Tottenham over their world-record valuation of star forward Gareth Bale.

Madrid are ready to pay in excess of the £80m they spent on Cristiano Ronaldo, but Tottenham are thought to be holding out for even more.

Although Madrid recognises Bale's talent having been impressed by his 31-goal haul last season, Raul thinks a world-record fee for the Welshman is simply too much.

"Bale is a wonderful player and he will be a great addition to Real Madrid, but his price is too high," Raul told the website of his club Al Sadd in Qatar.

"Tottenham overestimates in the price of Bale."

Bale has not played for Tottenham for over a month as he has been struck by two injuries, the first to his buttock, and the most recent one, which will keep him out of tomorrow night's Europa League game against Dinamo Tbilisi, to his foot. Despite all the uncertainty surrounding Bale, what is clear is that Spurs are willing to keep on spending before the transfer window shuts on September 2.

Manager Andre Villas-Boas spoke of his admiration for Anzhi Makhachkala forward Willian at a press conference on Monday and reports yesterday suggest the Brazilian could be close to moving to the London club.

Roma forward Erik Lamela is another player who Villas-Boas appears set on adding to his squad.

Villas-Boas has already spent almost £60million on new signings so far this summer, but he has sold Scott Parker, Tom Huddlestone, Steven Caulker and Clint Dempsey.

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