• Premier League

Villas-Boas rubbishes Bale sale talk

ESPN staff
May 2, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
AVB on Bale

Andre Villas-Boas has shrugged off reports linking Gareth Bale with a move to Real Madrid by insisting the winger will be a Tottenham player next term.

Bale has had a stunning campaign with Tottenham and on Thursday added the Football Writers' Player of the Year award to the Professional Footballers' Association gongs he won last month.

The Wales international was linked with both Real and Barcelona last term and it appears the Spanish champions are still keeping tabs on him as club advisor Zinedine Zidane said on Wednesday that a £60 million price tag would not prove beyond them.

Tottenham are battling to secure a place in the top four next term, which would enable them to offer Bale Champions League football at White Hart Lane.

But it would appear that irrespective of their finishing position this term, Villas-Boas is convinced Bale will be at the club next term.

"The information I have from the club that was mistakenly written about last week is that the player will remain here irrespective of Champions League qualification being achieved or not," stressed Villas-Boas.

"This is the information I shared with you all of the season. The more rewards, the more recognition the player has, the more media attention, but this club can only move forward by keeping hold of its players and next season for Tottenham, Gareth can be even more assertive.

"I would be extremely surprised (if he left this summer), but in football anything can happen. It is impossible to predict. This is the assurance I have from the club."

Villas-Boas was then quizzed on the comments offered up by Zidane.

"Whatever the price tag the player has doesn't matter to us because he is our player," stressed Villas-Boas. "He's a player we have to keep hold of for the remaining seasons to make sure we are to achieve our objectives.

"In the end, it is great for a player of Zidane's dimension to speak to Gareth. Good public recognition from someone who has reached the heights of the game. I have no problem with him commenting like this."

Villas-Boas concluding by declaring that Bale 'fully deserved' his latest award from the Football Writers' Association, as he paid tribute to a player who has illuminated this Premier League season.

"There end to his awards, hopefully not," he added with a smile. "It is another recognition of the season he had, truly deserved. This is prestigious from the Football Writers' Association. It means a lot to the player and the season he had, but also for all of us and his colleagues for helping him to achieve it.

"The other players have had a joke with him this week, but this will not go to his head. You see the way he thanked his players for letting him achieve those awards. He goes into a select group who has won both awards in the same year and it is wonderful for him recognise his colleagues at a moment when he is recognised as a individual."

Meanwhile, Bale could be found a matter of yards from Villas-Boas's press briefing seeking information of the date and dress code for the Football Writers' annual dinner that wil be held in his honour this year.

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