A Real Madrid vice president has admitted unspecified problems have delayed the signing of Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale although he predicted the deal would be agreed before the transfer window closes next week.
"There are problems but I believe that ultimately there won't be any," Fernando Fernandez Tapias told reporters in the city of A Coruna where Real are playing a friendly against Deportivo later on Thursday.
"We thought he would be here but for the moment he is not a Madrid player although possibly he will be."
Asked if Real's bid for the quicksilver Wales winger would be successful, he said: "I believe so but I couldn't swear to it or sign off on it completely. Let's wait and see because it's dragging on".
Bale's move to the nine-times European champions, which media reports have said will create a new world record fee of around 100 million euros, appeared a formality on Wednesday when Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas said he expected it to be completed before the window closes on September 2.
However, this is the first time a Real official has acknowledged difficulties in sealing the deal to buy the 24-year-old, voted English Footballer of the Year last season.
"I have no doubts about Bale's quality but Madrid without Bale ... has an amazing team," Tapias said.
Image: Gareth Bale
Photograph: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images