Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

AVB focused on Tottenham role

Andre Villas-Boas says he is focused on Tottenham

Andre Villas-Boas is flattered to be linked with Real Madrid but insists he wants to carry on at Tottenham because he is fed up of changing clubs every summer.

Villas-Boas has deservedly won many plaudits for the way he has kept Tottenham in the race for the Champions League despite a spate of injuries and the loss of Luka Modric, Rafael van der Vaart and Ledley King.

His work, it seems, has not gone unnoticed in Madrid, where nine-time European champions Real are on the look-out for a man to replace Villas-Boas' old mentor Jose Mourinho.

Although he is just 35-years-old, the idea that Villas-Boas could be on Madrid's shortlist seems perfectly plausible. And, as any manager would, the Portuguese says he is honoured to hear of their apparent interest, although he understands it may just be pure speculation that has come about because Mourinho has made it clear he will leave the Bernabeu this summer.

"The fact he (Mourinho) made it public that he is looking for an exit has ended up with a lot of speculation," Villas-Boas said. "It's very flattering but I think at the moment everybody is being linked with the Real Madrid job because there are now lots of coaches around."

Villas-Boas, like Mourinho, is no ordinary coach. Unlike most of his contemporaries, he did not have a long playing career and he is not obsessed with the game as some may suggest. When in charge of Porto, Villas-Boas said he wanted to spend just between 10 and 15 years in management while he also stated he wants to coach in Brazil at some stage of his career.

"Yes, that's (still) the case," he said. "I definitely want to manage in Brazil. I would definitely move very, very soon to a club in a different league."

The last comment might set alarm bells ringing in some quarters, but make no mistake - this was not a case of Villas-Boas announcing to the world that he intends to leave for pastures new. Why? Because he has unfinished business - on a personal level and a professional one.

He wants to repay Daniel Levy for showing faith in him so shortly after Roman Abramovich pulled the plug on the Portuguese's "project" in west London 13 months ago. The fact that he turned down the Sao Paulo job last summer also adds weight to the idea he wants to go on and firmly re-establish his reputation in England with Tottenham after his roller-coaster spell at Stamford Bridge, where he was sacked after nine months.

"For me it is always an honour (to be linked with Madrid), but I am completely focused (on Spurs)," Villas-Boas said. "I have a contract. I was given an opportunity (by Levy) and was extremely grateful. It's different. At the moment I am very, very focused on trying to get another year at one club, the same club!"