Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Bale departure would be major blow - AVB

Andre Villlas-Boas is desperate to keep hold of Gareth Bale, pictured

Manager Andre Villas-Boas claimed Gareth Bale quitting Tottenham would have equal consequences to Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona after the Wales international earned his side a 2-1 win over Newcastle.

Bale was in red-hot form at White Hart Lane, scoring both of Spurs' goals as part of a scintillating one-man show which took his goals tally for the season to 19 for both club and country - comfortably his best ever return - and his form looks set to carry Spurs into the Champions League places at the end of the season.

As a result of his continued brilliance, he has been linked with moves abroad for the last two seasons, and Villas-Bos said: "Obviously, we have spoken about that at length and are not going to go through it again. Most teams have to hang on to their best players, Barcelona losing Messi would be a disaster, Real Madrid losing Ronaldo would be a disaster so this is exactly the same."

He went on: "Teams are dependent on great organisation and also great individuals when they are able to express their football to the maximum."

It is often said that every player has his price but, in a league where buyout clauses do not exist, Villas-Boas does not expect his club to feel the need to cash in.

"There isn't a release clause in English football, it's very difficult to negotiate with Tottenham as you know and we are not willing to let our best assets go. We can't turn this into a debate every time a player does well," he said.

Yoan Gouffran grabbed Newcastle's goal although he was later carried off following an innocuous challenge with Kyle Walker.

The France international received oxygen on the pitch but Newcastle were later buoyed by the news that there had been no break.

Magpies boss Alan Pardew admitted that was a concern after the game but the club released a statement confirming good news.

It read: "Newcastle United are pleased to report that a precautionary X-ray has shown that Yoan Gouffran has not broken his right leg. The French forward was stretchered off during the second half of Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, and Gouffran will be further assessed on Sunday by the club's medical staff."

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