Michael Laudrup believes “superstar” Gareth Bale is not yet as good as his prospective new team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.
This would eclipse the £80million Real paid Manchester United to sign Portugal captain Ronaldo – who has since gone on to score nearly 200 goals for the Spanish club – in 2009.
However, Swansea manager Laudrup, who played for Real for two years in the 1990s, feels that while the 24-year-old Bale is among the best players in the world, he is not yet in the same bracket as Ronaldo or Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
“You have to admit Gareth Bale was a superstar for Tottenham last season,” said the Dane.
“Even when you have a good team it is always so nice that there is one player, like Bale, who you can give the ball to and he will do something great.
“When you see Real Madrid play they are very good players but at certain points they have Ronaldo, and Barcelona have Messi.
“Super teams but also they have that one player who makes a difference.
“For me, over the last four or five years those two have been at a level by themselves.
“Then you have 10 or 12 players just below that and Bale is definitely there with (Andres) Iniesta, (Sergio) Aguero and Robin van Persie.
“They are all great players, but you have to say Messi and Ronaldo are something special.”