Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

AVB Tells Euro Elite: You Can't Afford to Buy Bale

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

AVB Tells Euro Elite: You Can't Afford to Buy Bale

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse Football Correspondent

ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS today warned the clubs chasing Gareth Bale that they are unlikely to be able to afford Tottenham's best player in the summer.

Bale is coveted by Real Madrid and his stunning recent form has only increased his standing within the European game. Two superb goals in the last two matches at West Brom and Norwich have moved Spurs to within a point of Chelsea and they will go third, at least for a few hours, if they beat Newcastle on Saturday lunchtime.

Villas-Boas knows Tottenham probably need Champions League football to hang on to Bale but suggested that his value, at more than [pounds sterling]40million, is now so high that the top clubs might not be able to match it.

"You know it's extremely difficult," Villas-Boas said today. "Just as it is difficult for us to have a player of this dimension playing so well, calling the attention of other teams, it is difficult for other clubs to buy a player like this with the economic situation as it is.

"Players who perform at this level will always get attention, but it doesn't mean the club doesn't see a future with Gareth. It is intimately related to the objectives we achieve for the season. He is a player we rate very highly and one we are not willing to let go.

"At the moment we are very fortunate to have him and we think we are going to be able to reach our objectives with him at this level of form. If we reach those objectives, then hopefully we can continue to have Gareth at our club.

"Can we keep him if we reach the Champions League? I think so. This is where most of the clubs want to be and where most of the players want to play.

"It's part of our objectives, so hopefully achieving it can mean that we are able to attract better players and continue to hold on to our best ones." Bale scored another fine goal for Wales in their friendly victory over Austria last night and was due to return to Spurs' Enfield training base today to begin preparations for the game against Newcastle. …

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