Martino: Gareth Bale fee lacks respect
Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino has said Real Madrid's prospective world-record deal to sign Gareth Bale shows a “lack of respect” given the current economic climate.
Barcelona spent €57 million to sign Brazil international Neymar from Santos earlier this summer, but Martino said the deal for Bale -- which is expected to break the record set when Madrid signed Cristiano Ronaldo for £80 million -- appeared excessive.
When asked about a prospective €100 million offer, Martino said: "Bale is an excellent player but the rumoured fee shows a lack of respect for the world we live in."
Martino, who was speaking to reporters prior to Sunday’s game against Malaga, was also questioned about the current situation regarding Madrid captain Iker Casillas, but refused to be drawn on the Spain goalkeeper.
Casillas appears to be behind Diego Lopez in the pecking order under new coach Carlo Ancelotti, as he was under Jose Mourinho last season, and has been linked with an unlikely move to the Camp Nou.
Former Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper Santiago Canizares gave those rumours credence in a Cadena SER interview, saying: "I don't see any problems if he were to leave Madrid for Barcelona. At Barcelona -- and anywhere else in the world -- he would get the recognition he deserves. If I were Casillas, I would start thinking about leaving Madrid.”
Martino, though, said only: “I prefer to stay out of this. I just got here. If I’d been here a long time I’d know what had happened, but that is not the case.”