It's finally official. Pick yourselves up from the floor.
Spurs released two statements on the official site in the aftermath of AVB citing Bale to Real Madrid followed by Madrid themselves confirming on the website that the player was now part of the White Storm.
Bale's statement (to Spurs fans):
"I have had six very happy years at Tottenham but it's the right time to say goodbye. We've had some special times together over the years and I've loved every minute of it.
“I would like to thank everyone at the Club, the Chairman, Board, staff, coaches and players – and most of all the fantastic fans who I hope will understand this amazing career opportunity.
“I am not sure there is ever a good time to leave a club where I felt settled and was playing the best football of my career to date. I know many players talk of their desire to join the club of their boyhood dreams, but I can honestly say, this is my dream come true.
“I am well aware that I would not be at the level I am today were it not for firstly Southampton and then Spurs standing by me during some of the tougher times and affording me the environment and support they have.
“Tottenham will always be in my heart and I’m sure that this season will be a successful one for them. I am now looking forward to the next exciting chapter in my life, playing football for Real Madrid."
I think the sad thing here is that his sentiments are clouded by a very templated Dear John letter that he didn't actually write himself. But I'm positive he means everything that is mentioned in the above. Especially the part about wanting to go to Madrid. If that's what the player wants, then his heart already belongs to another. At least we - THFC - will forever have the six years of his career that defined him as a record breaking transfer. He won't quite be able to replicate the astonishment and surprise he achieved in our Lilywhite. He's now going to be expected to simply duplicate the form at Spurs for Madrid.
Below is Daniel Levy's announcement on the deal.
The Club can announce that it has reached agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of Gareth Bale.
Gareth joined from Southampton in May 2007 and during his six years with the Club made 203 appearances, scoring 55 goals
Chairman, Daniel Levy commented, "Gareth was a player we had absolutely no intention of selling as we look to build for the future. He is a player whose career we have fostered and developed and he was only a year into his new four year contract.
"Such has been the attention from Real Madrid and so great is Gareth's desire to join them, that we have taken the view that the player will not be sufficiently committed to our campaign in the current season.
"We have, therefore, with great reluctance, agreed to this sale and do so in the knowledge that we have an exceptionally strong squad to which we have added no fewer than seven top internationals. More importantly, we have an immense team spirit and a dressing room that is hungry for success.
"We wish Gareth all the best in the future and he shall always be welcome at the Lane."
I know Levy states we had no intentions of selling him, but let's be brutally honest here because I'm sure our chairman (away from diplomacy) is more than prepared for that moment a footballer knows there is a possibility of a dream move then the likelihood of the club that want him declaring their desire to sign him escalates at speed. Once that happens, the player usually wins.
'Having no intentions' will still have led to conversations about selling him because of aforementioned eventuality. No reason to retain a player than wants out (as cited above) and 100 million Euros is hardly an amount to be scoffed at.
As for 'great reluctance', reading between the lines and trying to decipher the truth in-amongst all the media BS, I'm sure Levy made Madrid's life hell when making sure we got the very best payment package possible when all was said and done.
Although there's another (conspiracy) theory that this was always going to happen thanks to that oh so special relationship we have with them. That relationship being an agreement to sell him. Having said that, I struggle to see any type of relationship between the two clubs if they're about to sell Ozil to Arsenal. Also, I think the episode with Bale failing to turn up for training might have been a cheeky way to engineer certainty with the transfer completing.
You know what, it's nigh impossible to second guess any of it. Bale's getaway to Spain included. So why bother. The end result will always be the same regardless of how we got here.
Levy's statement is more or less the only statement he can make. If there is something behind all the fluff, we're not privileged enough to see it. So at face value, it's strong and it sends a clear message that we are simply looking ahead to a new future with determined ambition.
Bale moves on. We also move on.