Gareth Bale’s agent claims that “there was a club who offered a lot more” money for the Welshman than Real Madrid did.
And the Spanish club’s president, Florentino Perez, has hinted that that club was Manchester United.
Agent Jonathan Barnett told La Sexta that talks between Real and Tottenham Hotspur almost broke down, during the bargaining that saw the Welshman become the world’s most expensive footballer.
And that the waiting had been agonising for Bale, whose heart was set on a move to the Bernabeu,
"It never broke down, but that was close to happening a few times," Barnett said.
"We had a plan for the move. I hope that I am still friends with Daniel Levy, but I am not sure. He is a hard negotiator, but fair. Tottenham made us a big offer for Bale to stay. The meetings were not always peace and love. We had meetings which were hard.
"The Spanish media did not understand why the transfer was not finalised with so much money, but if Tottenham needed the money it would have been done on the first day.
"There was a club who offered more money than Real Madrid. A lot more."
Meanwhile, Perez says that the world record €100 million transfer fee that Real paid to land Bale will be cost-effective in the grand scheme of things.
Questions about Bale’s true value have been asked ever since his historic transfer, but Perez says that when United’s interest in the player became known, the Spanish club did what they needed to in order to complete a transfer they think made financial and footballing sense.
"Bale has come cheaply," Perez told Cadena SER radio.
"Signing the best players out there is Madrid's philosophy and Bale was the best available player on the market this summer. We had been following him for two years.
"Tottenham did not want to sell. We learned that Manchester United had made an offer and we made one ourselves."
Perez also says that Real’s other major piece of business- retaining the services of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo- was completed smoothly.
"The renewal of Cristiano Ronaldo has been easy – he is determined to finish his career at Real Madrid. Cristiano never spoke of money with me," he said.