Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

AVB: Bale not for sale

Tottenham forward Gareth Bale is the subject of interest from Real Madrid

Andre Villas-Boas insists the only talks between Tottenham and Real Madrid regarding Gareth Bale have been to tell the Spanish club he is not for sale.

Bale has been linked with a world record transfer to Madrid with reports of a deal worth up to £105million being all but finalised, but Spurs manager Villas-Boas insists he is continuing to plan for the coming season with Bale in his team, while admitting to some frustration with Madrid's very public pursuit of the Wales international.

"I think the rumours that anything is imminent are not true," he told reporters at a press conference after Saturday night's 5-2 friendly defeat to Monaco, before going on to criticise Real coach Carlo Ancelotti for publicly confirming that talks had taken place.

"We've allowed ourselves conversations with Real Madrid, confirmed by their coach I think wrongly, but the only thing we've communicated is that the player is our player and not for sale."

Asked if he felt Ancelotti was in the wrong, Villas-Boas said: "I think so, in my opinion.

"Carlo is a person I appreciate a lot and we have great respect for each other, but bearing in mind this situation they have decided to make it public.

"Normally in situations like this in England it is scrutinised by the (Football Association) with lots of care and attention. We have seen lots of people speak about a player that is not theirs and we are due some respect.

"There are conversations because there is big, big respect between the clubs bearing in the mind the transfer last year (of Luka Modric) and the agreement last year of goodwill between the clubs. At the moment we are following from those instructions.

"But of the player, bearing in mind the investment you have seen at Tottenham recently, he is a player who is decisive for us. We are building a very strong team and we are building for a future with Gareth.

"In football, anything is possible but what we have communicated so far is that we are not willing to concede to their interest in the player."

Bale has not featured for Tottenham during the pre-season, with a foot injury reported to have been the cause for his absence from the Monaco trip.

It is being reported that the player is unsettled amid Madrid's continuing interest.

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