Forget about signing Bale - AVB
Andre Villas-Boas has told David Moyes to forget about putting Gareth Bale at the top of his shopping list this summer.
Moyes took on the biggest challenge of his career this week when he agreed to replace Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager at the end of the season. The 50-year-old will, no doubt, be given a big transfer kitty to ensure that he starts his reign with a bang.
After scoring 30 goals for club and country this year, Bale is the hottest property in Europe right now, but Villas-Boas doubts even Manchester United could afford to sign him this summer, and the Tottenham manager said: "I'm pretty sure that whatever David does in the market will be excellent. But to get a player of Gareth's dimension is firstly not in our interests but also very, very difficult to get."
Bale picked up his Footballer of the Year award at the Football Writers' Association dinner in central London. Less than two weeks earlier he had done the double at the PFA Awards, where he won Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year. The more accolades he wins, the more rumours continue to circulate that Real Madrid will launch a big-money bid for the player this summer.
Bale showered praise on Tottenham and the Barclays Premier League as he collected his FWA prize, though, and Villas-Boas was more bullish than ever about his prospects of keeping the player.
He said: "I have those guarantees (that Bale will stay). You can always make your own understanding from what the player says and how he feels.
"He is very, very driven to be successful but you can see that he is enjoying his football and all of the indications that I have are that he will continue."
Villas-Boas concedes the situation would be helped, though, if Bale signed an extension to his current contract, which runs out in three years' time, saying: "It would be good for him (to sign a new deal).
"I think he deserves it for the season he's had. Obviously we could put to bed every single speculation that's coming out, which we are calm about. It would be excellent and I think a reward for what he has achieved this season."
Spurs will look to Bale for inspiration on Sunday when they travel to Stoke knowing a win would move them into fourth ahead of Arsenal's game in hand against Wigan on Tuesday.