Tottenham fans in the Cayman Islands are watching with intrigue as Gareth Bale moves closer to a world record move to Real Madrid.
Bale is in Marbella tying up a deal with the Spanish giants which is expected to top the $110m Real paid for Cristiano Ronaldo four years ago.
Real Madrid have made two different offers for Bale and he is expected to be unveiled before the weekend.
A stage, nicknamed the “Bale Box”, has been erected at the Bernabeu to unveil Bale to the club’s supporters.
The 24-year-old winger was not at White Hart Lane on Sunday as Spurs beat Swansea 1-0, through a Roberto Soldado second-half penalty, but Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas defended the player’s absence although would not confirm him leaving.
Real Madrid’s next home game is on Sunday against Athletic Bilbao, a day before the transfer window closes.
Bale joined Spurs in a $14m deal from Southampton in 2007. Initially he struggled to settle before flourishing and is now one of the world’s most coveted players.
He was named player of the year by both the Professional Footballers’ Association and Football Writers last season after scoring 26 times for his club.
Bale will join the likes of Kaka, Mesut Ozil, Xabi Alonso, Iker Casillas, Luka Modric and Ronaldo in a star-studded Real side desperate to regain top spot in Spain over Barcelona.
Osbourne Bodden, minister of sports and health, is a keen Tottenham fan. He said, “I am definitely sorry to lose him. He is a great player who added much width and pace to our team and scored vital goals.
“As for being worth it, no player is worth that much. The transfer fees no longer make logical sense.”
Osbourne sees Bale fitting in smoothly, with no conflict with Ronaldo for positions. So spectacular has Bale’s improvement been in the last two years that speculation is he could overtake Ronaldo as the world’s No.2 player and soon be challenging Barca’s Lionel Messi as the planet’s best.
“I think he will replace Angel di Maria with more strength, pace and skill,” said Osbourne. “With him on the left and Ronaldo on the right, Real Madried will be deadly with Modric spraying balls to each of them. I don’t know about Bale becoming bigger than Ronaldo, but he could become as big for sure.”
Spurs are already rebuilding and have made some sound signings, including Soldado who has settled quickly.
“We have gotten some solid players and although we will miss him, I think overall the team has been strengthened and will do well,” Osbourne said. “Soldado is already scoring and Jermain Defoe will always score regularly.”
So how does Osbourne see Tottenham’s season going without their golden boy? “I just want us to book our Champions League spot with a great season this year.
“It’s going to be a very competitive season and Man United and Chelsea are already looking strong. The next two spots will be fought for by us, Arsenal, Manchester City and maybe a surprise team.”
Derick “Nissan” Neysmith is another Cayman resident who loves Spurs. “With the money we should get at least one good striker,” he said. “I’m sorry to see [Bale] go. He as a great playmaker and our best scorer. We’re going to miss that. But somebody may come in just as good. When he joined us, he wasn’t that good at first.
“I don’t think anybody is worth over $100m, but Real are prepared to pay. I can understand him going because if he stayed at Spurs he would be the boss. He is joining other big names at Real Madrid.
“I still think we will do well and get a Champions League place because we have a decent squad. Saldado is doing well. I just want us to get ahead of Arsenal.”