Gareth Bale
Bale's move to Madrid almost fell through.

Gareth Bale's world record transfer to Real Madrid was on the verge of collapse on several occasions which almost forced the Welshman to stay at Tottenham Hotspur, the player's agent Jonathan Barnett has revealed.

Bale clinched an £85m move to the Spanish capital on the penultimate day of the summer transfer window, smashing the world record transfer fee formerly held by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy played hard-ball for much of the summer before eventually accepting a record-breaking fee for the two-time PFA Players' Player of the Year but Barnett said the deal almost fell through on a number of occasions.

"The deal never fell apart, but it came close on several occasions," Barnett told Spanish TV's 'La Sexta'.

"It wasn't all peace and love in the meetings. They were tough and problematic."

Real president Florentino Perez confirmed earlier this week that Madrid were forced to bid for Bale when they learned of Manchester United's offer for the Wales international.

United are understood to have submitted a bid worth £100m for Bale prior to Madrid reaching an agreement, but Levy opted to allow the ex-Southampton winger to join the club he supported as a boy.

And Barnett has backed up Perez's claim that a second club entered the race for Bale.

"Tottenham made us a great offer to stay", the agent added. "There was another club that offered much more than Real Madrid."

After securing the move to Real, Bale criticised Tottenham's delay tactics which didn't see the deal completed until the day prior to deadline day.

But he has wasted no time adapting to his new surroundings, scoring on his debut in the draw with Villarreal to kick start his career in Spanish football.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti is confident Bale will be available to make his home league debut in the Madrid derby against Atletico Madrid this weekend despite withdrawing from the warm-up prior to the game against Getafe with a thigh problem.