AVB tight-lipped over Bale

Andre Villas-Boas refused to elaborate further on the future of Gareth Bale after watching his side lose the first game of the Barclays Asia Trophy.

Last Updated: 30/07/13 at 13:00 Post Comment

Andre Villas-Boas: Hoping Gareth Bale will be involved in next Asia Trophy match

Andre Villas-Boas: Hoping Gareth Bale will be involved in next Asia Trophy match

The Welshman, whose future remains the subject of fevered speculation, was not involved in Wednesday's 3-1 defeat by Sunderland at a rain-swept Hong Kong stadium.

Reports in Spain suggest he is poised to join Real Madrid while the Spurs hierarchy have continually stressed that the club's most prized asset is not for sale.

On Tuesday, Villas-Boas said: "He is a player that we are willing to continue to have, he's a Tottenham player, he's one of the most fantastic players in the world at the moment and we are counting on him for the future."

Speaking after the Sunderland game, Villas-Boas said: "I can't make any more comments because I made it during the press conference for this game, so I don't want to repeat myself in all press conferences."

However, Villas-Boas has said there is still a chance that Bale could be involved in the final match of the Asia Trophy against South China on Saturday.

He told Sky Sports News: "We're trying to get Gareth involved in training tomorrow . Not with the team, unfortunately, but on his own.

"It depends. If we see some evolution on his injury we might give it a try but if not then he will probably be on the bench (against South China)."

Another worry for Spurs was the forced substitution of Jan Vertonghen, who left the field on a stretcher and will undergo a scan.

"It seems like he twisted his ankle, it could be sprained ankle ligaments," said Villas-Boas. "Hopefully there is not too much damage as he has a good range of movement still, but it is swollen a bit. We hope it is nothing very serious, the MRI scan is positive and he'll be back for the start of the season."

As to the game itself, he added: "It was a pity that we committed a couple of mistakes after taking the lead. It was impossible to play football as the conditions were extremely poor.

"The boys gave it a try and in the end through a bit of tiredness we conceded two more goals to give the advantage to Sunderland; we must learn from our mistakes.

"We spoke in the dressing room about this but the pre-season is about these things, about correcting things when they go wrong. The physical side is important. Sunderland are a bit further ahead in their preparation.

"We gave 90 minutes to a couple of our players which is a positive from the evening, and some of the others have improved their stamina, which was good."

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S I've always envisioned him as a Pirlo or a Scholes, though he needs some of Andy Murray's conditioning and shiny, ankle supports to keep his own from buckling under the tackles that will (inevitably) come his way. He's got the physique and low centre of gravity to flourish, but needs to make himself more resilient.

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