At last, Tottenham Hotspur have conceded in public that Gareth Bale is on the verge of joining Real Madrid, bringing an end to one of the transfer window’s most tawdry sagas.
The Welsh international is currently on strike, and has refused to turn up for training at Spurs for the past few days.
And speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, manager Andre Villas-Boas suggested Bale might be fined for his behaviour.
But it will surely be a meaningless gesture, after Villas-Boas admitted that Bale’s move to Madrid could happen “very, very soon.”
“Tottenham will accept most likely the biggest transfer in world football,” AVB said, confirming that Real will pay more for Bale than the £80million they paid to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United.
"He is involved in a big transfer move to Real Madrid and in the end if it happens, we wish him all the best."
AVB’s good wishes could not gloss over his apparent contempt for the way Los Blancos have conducted themselves in their hunt for Bale.
And the manager is clearly unhappy with the way the player himself has acted in pursuit of his “dream move.”
“The fact that he hasn't turned up is not the correct behaviour," Villas-Boas said.
"That is the position they chose to take and it's up to the club to decide if it's a fineable offence."
If Spurs fine Bale even an entire months’ wages, it will simply disappear into the billions they bank when he walks out the door.
It now remains to be seen if the players they replace him with can make up for the loss of Bale’s impact over the past few seasons, and if he will prove to be worth the money when he finally turns as Real Madrid’s newest galactico.