Mills: We can't force Bale to stay
Tottenham director Sir Keith Mills has acknowledged the club would find it "very difficult" to keep Gareth Bale if he wants to move to Real Madrid, even though he signed a new four-year contract only last summer.
Real Madrid have confirmed they are in talks with the north London outfit over Bale and a potential world record transfer, with Spurs said to be demanding in excess of £80million.
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has said the 24-year-old is not for sale, but Spurs recognise any attempts to keep the Wales international against his will would be futile.
Mills told the Evening Standard: "We very much want Bale to stay. If a player is desperate to leave, it's very difficult to force him to stay.
"We've seen it in other clubs. Even if he has a contract, you can't force somebody to play for you."
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti refused to talk about his club's bid to sign Bale on Tuesday night, after irking Villas-Boas by declaring in a press conference last week that the Spanish club were "negotiating and trying to find a solution to the situation" with regards to the Welshman.
"I won't speak about Bale, because I have already angered him (Villas-Boas) and I don't want to anger another coach," the Italian said at a pre-season press conference in Miami.
"I didn't say anything in particular and I prefer not to talk about this."
Villas-Boas' comments had prompted a report in the Spanish media that Bale would stay away from the training ground on Tuesday but they proved unfounded.
Such a move would have been out of character for the 24-year-old and he spent five hours at the Spurs training complex at Enfield. He was dropped off at 10.30am and collected at around 3.30pm.
Speculation is at fever pitch, with every move being analysed for clues as to whether Bale will stay at White Hart Lane or become the latest British 'galactico' at Real Madrid.
Tottenham have insisted their decision to remove Bale's image from the club's official Twitter page was unrelated to the ongoing transfer saga.
The forward's image had been on the left of the page with Clint Dempsey's on the right. Spurs explained that the page was redesigned following Dempsey's sale to the Seattle Sounders.
Aaron Lennon and Mousa Dembele have been used in place of Dempsey and Bale.
Bale, who scored 26 goals for Tottenham last year, has not played for Spurs since their first game of the summer - a 1-1 draw against Swindon on July 16.
He missed the club's pre-season tour of Hong Kong because of a gluteal injury and did not travel to Monaco after suffering a foot problem.
Spurs are said to be demanding a world-record sum from Real Madrid - in excess of the £80m fee the Primera Division club paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo four years ago.