Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has said he found Gerardo Martino’s claim that the proposed fee for Gareth Bale showed a “lack of respect” to be “strange”.
Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino, speaking at his press conference on Saturday, had said he thought paying around €100 million -- as has been reported -- was disrespectful given the current economic climate.
Given that Barcelona have also spent heavily on elite players, Ancelotti said he thought Martino, whose coaching experience had until now been limited to South America, had simply yet to learn the realities of the European game.
"They were words that I did not understand,” he said. “He is not here very long, and does not understand European football and how his own club works, because Barcelona have bought players paying money.
“I do not want to speak about this, but I believe his words were a little strange."
Ancelotti also stressed that the Wales international was not yet a Madrid player, and said he had not thought about where he will play in his team.
On Friday, Madrid paper Marca’s front page announced that a €99 million deal to bring Bale from Tottenham had finally been agreed.
Inside, a report was headlined ‘Just needs a signature’ and claimed it was a “question of hours” before the Tottenham star put pen to paper on a six-year contract at the Bernabeu.
However, with speculation mounting that the deal will be confirmed in the imminent future, Ancelotti stressed that he wanted to concentrate on Madrid’s game at Granada on Monday.
"I have not thought about where he [Bale] is going to play -- I have other problems at this moment,” he told reporters at a press conference. "He is not a Madrid player, and I cannot respond. I have said that I do not want to talk about this question because Bale is not a Madrid player at this moment, and because I want to respect the players who are concentrating on tomorrow's game [at Granada].
“There is a lot of movement in the market because it is coming close to ending. I want to respect Spanish journalists -- but you always ask me about this and I do not want to respond."
He did not respond to questions about Madrid’s rumoured interest in signing Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, but said Mesut Ozil -- reportedly unsettled by the Bale speculation -- “feels fine", adding: "He has no problem."