Gareth Bale deal was not a record fee, say Real Madrid

Despite reports to the contrary, it is Cristiano Ronaldo and not Gareth Bale who is the world’s most expensive player, according to figures revealed by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.

The Portuguese star completed a €94 million (£80 million) switch from Manchester United four years ago, setting a new world transfer record in the process.

However, Bale’s deadline-day move to the Santiago Bernabeu was widely-reported to have broken that, with several sources claiming the fee was €100 million (£85.4 million).

Perez, speaking to the Intereconomia television channel, has revealed that the club have insured Bale for the full amount of his transfer fee, which he confirmed was €91 million (£78 million).

“It’s a life insurance, against accidents. Bale is insured for the amount he cost,” he said.

The Spanish chief also dismissed reports that the 24-year-old Wales international had suffered a herniated disc, and believes he could return to action against Malaga on Saturday.

“They said it was a hernia, but it isn’t. If he had one we would say so like usual,” he added.

“(Bale) hopes to be able to play on Saturday. His problem, as the whole world knows, is the lack of pre-season training, he suffered a thigh injury.

“But now he’s perfectly fine. I think he’s training normally, hoping to play Saturday.”