Spurs confident of holding on to Bale
LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur have opened new contract talks with their midfielder Gareth Bale and are confident of keeping the Wales international despite him being linked with a move to Real Madrid.
“He signed a new contract last year but talks have started between the chairman and his agent and are ongoing,” manager Andre Villas-Boas said yesterday in Hong Kong, where Spurs are playing in the Premier League Asian Trophy preseason competition.
“It doesn’t mean there is going to be an agreement, but we are confident. The player is under contract. He signed a new contract last year, he is a special player, had a wonderful season last year and at the moment we are extremely happy with him.
“We are speaking with his agent about a possible improvement but we don’t need to comment further on any transfer speculation or his contract.”
Bale, 24, signed a four-year deal last year and had an outstanding season – although Spurs missed out on a Champions League place by one point.
According to non-stop and frenzied reporting in Spain and England since the season ended, Real Madrid are leading the chase for the player.
Bale is with the squad in Hong Kong but will not play in today’s match against South China because he is recovering from a strained gluteus muscle.
Villas-Boas, speaking in a Hong Kong hotel, also confirmed that Belgian international defender Jan Vertonghen would be out for two to three weeks after damaging ankle ligaments on the wet playing surface during Spurs’ opening game against Sunderland on Tuesday. – Reuters