‘Barcelona would not pay €100m for Bale’

Blaugrana president Sandro Rosell claims “people would go crazy” if his side sanctioned the level of spending enjoyed by rivals Real Madrid this summer

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell says he would never have allowed the club to pay the €100 million fee which Real Madrid spent on Gareth Bale.

The Wales international secured his protracted move to Santiago Bernabeu shortly before the end of the summer transfer window, though the sum involved has attracted significant criticism, with Barca coach Gerardo Martino claiming it showed “a lack of respect for the world we live in.”

While Rosell admits the timing of Martino’s comments was ill-advised, he has voiced his own disdain for the world-record fee, claiming that his own club could never match such sums on a single player.

“I wouldn’t have paid €100 million [for Bale],” he told TV3.

“Barcelona cannot allow for that. If we pay €100m, people would go crazy. Madrid is a private institution and if their socios allow it, then I have nothing to say.

“We need to tell Tata that he can’t always say what he thinks, but he was speaking from the heart.”

Rosell was quick to praise Madrid for their decision to allow Kaka to return to AC Milan on a free transfer, however, stating that the departure of the likes of the Brazilian and David Villa from Camp Nou are useful in freeing up the wage bill.

“Madrid selling Kaka to Milan for nothing was a good move. That’s one huge salary off the books at least. Just like selling Villa was a good move for us,” Rosell said.

The 49-year-old also revealed he has been in touch with Tito Vilanova, who is continuing to battle cancer following his relapse earlier this year.

“I had dinner with him the other day and he looked well. He’s fighting, he’s putting all his energy into it and I hope he comes out alright on the other side,” he added.

Meanwhile, Barcelona were handed a boost after Sergio Busquets returned to training on Monday. The midfielder, who injured his thigh in the 3-2 Liga win over Valencia, has stepped up his recovery after being forced to withdraw from the Spain squad for the matches against Finland and Chile.

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