Jonathan Barnett has just broken a world record.
After months of negotiations, the football agent this week wrapped up Gareth Bale’s £85.3 million move to Real Madrid, ending the most drawn-up transfer saga of the summer.
Mr Barnett and his partner David Manasseh, with whom he owns the Stellar Group agency, closed the deal that saw their client move to the Spanish giants from Tottenham Hotspur, with a reported salary of £300,000 a week.
The agent expressed his delight for Real Madrid’s new number 11. “He’s the one everybody should be happy for,” he said.
“He’s going to achieve his dreams, and for that, I’m very happy. We met him when he was 15 years old, we’ve been together with him and his family for a long time, and I really am chuffed for him.”
Mr Barnett told Sky Sports News that talks had been ongoing since mid-May.
“It is 110 days since we started negotiations. But Gareth is worth every penny. It’s not been easy.”
But he revealed that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy had been a pleasure to do business with despite his reputation as a tough negotiator.
Mr Barnett said: “He’s hard. But he does what is best for his club and we do what is best for our client. We cross swords but afterwards we got out for a drink together — as long as he pays.”
As for the way the transfer improves his company’s profile, Mr Barnett said that “to be involved in something like this is great. We’ve been very fortunate. It is very good for us.”
Asked what he thought of the transfer sum, which eclipses the previous record of £80 million Real paid to acquire Ronaldo’s services in 2009, Mr Barnett said: “It’s not a bad deal.”
Considering media reports put the agent’s cut at five per cent of his superstar client’s earnings, it is not a bad deal at all.