Spurs con­fi­dent of hold­ing on to Bale

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

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

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