Soldado urges Bale to stay at Spurs
Roberto Soldado would love nothing more than to forge a strike partnership with Gareth Bale at Tottenham next season, as he travelled to London to complete his move from Valencia.
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas has been keen to bring in some attacking reinforcements and has long been an admirer of 28-year-old Soldado, a prolific goalscorer in the Primera Division.
The deal, though, is likely to have cost the north London club around £26million - the buy-out clause which last week Valencia president Amadeo Salvo warned would have to be met to prise the striker away. If so, it would see Tottenham break the club transfer record set when they signed Paulinho for £17m from Corinthians earlier in the summer.
However, were Bale to be sold to Real Madrid - who are ready to pay a world-record £85m for the Wales international - then that outlay on new players would be offset entirely, opening up the possibility of a move for Roma's Argentina forward Erik Lamela.
Soldado, though, would relish the chance to link up with Bale, whose 21 Barclays Premier League goals earned him the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year and Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year accolades, but could not secure a top-four finish.
Speaking to reporters at Valencia airport before boarding a flight to London to undergo his medical, the 28-year-old was quoted as saying by Spanish newspaper AS: "Bale is a great footballer and you can see the effort Tottenham are making to prevent him from leaving. Of course I want him to stay."
Soldado, however, also left with a parting shot at Los Che, adding: "I am leaving Valencia because I don't trust or believe in this project."
The forward impressed at Valencia after joining from Getafe three years ago, plundering 80 goals during his 146 appearances for the Mestalla club. He netted 24 goals in La Liga last season and has become an established member of the Spain national team, helping his country finish as runners-up at this summer's Confederations Cup.
Soldado hails from Valencia, but began his career at Real Madrid, scoring 63 goals in 120 league appearances for the B side, Real Madrid Castilla. He also represented the senior team on 16 occasions.
The Spaniard's impending arrival boosts a Spurs strikeforce that was found light last season, with Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor the first team's only out-and-out frontmen.
Tottenham have also brought in Belgian winger Nacer Chadli from FC Twente, in a deal which is reported to have cost around £7m.