AVB denies Bale transfer done

Andre Villas-Boas has denied that a deal has been agreed for the record sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.

Last Updated: 22/08/13 at 12:49 Post Comment

Gareth Bale: Missing from the Spurs side in Tbilisi

Gareth Bale: Missing from the Spurs side in Tbilisi

Reports suggest Bale is closing in on a world-record transfer to the nine-time European champions, but Villas-Boas says that is not the case.

"That is not true," the Tottenham manager said ahead of the Europa League play-off against Dinamo Tbilisi.

The north London club would not comment, however, on claims that technical director Franco Baldini is in the Spanish capital for talks over Bale's future but Sky Sports' Spanish football expert Guillem Balague believes an announcement confirming the deal is imminent and that the fine detail has already been agreed.

Bale will sit out the first leg of Tottenham's Europa League play-off on Thursday officially because of a foot injury.

While Bale has been recovering, Tottenham have spent £60million on four new signings and they could shell out that same figure over the next two days to land Willian and Erik Lamela.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to the reasoning behind the record splurge by Daniel Levy. One is that he wants to bring the stellar signings in to persuade Bale to stay and the other is that the chairman is already spending the world-record fee the Londoners would receive if the Welshman left for the Bernabeu.

Villas-Boas was asked which one was the case and was reluctant to say that the new signings had been bought in order to try to tempt Bale to stay.

"Ideally we want to keep everyone to make us stronger - that is the ultimate objective of the club," the Spurs manager said.

"In the end, anything can happen. We are dragging ourselves into the last weeks of transfer activity and it can become very, very frantic."

Spurs expect to complete the signing of Willian by the time they return from Georgia while there is excitement among supporters about the prospect of Argentinian midfielder Lamela and Real Madrid left-back Fabio Coentrao also joining the club.

Out of respect to the clubs they belong to, Villas-Boas would not go into detail about Tottenham's pursuit of the trio, but he did concede talks had begun with Anzhi over the signing of Willian.

"I can confirm there is an interest in the player and conversations (have taken place)," the Portuguese said.

"What we are building is a very, very strong side for the future, alongside massive investment in the structures of the club."

The Tottenham manager has vowed to do all he can to win the Europa League this season, even though his squad was stretched thin last season by fighting on two fronts.

"Last season we prioritised both competitions," the Tottenham boss said. "It's the same objective this year.

"We have approached this competition very seriously. We set out a good example that it was possible to play Thursday evenings and Sundays with the same team mostly and we had good success with results in fixtures after the Europa League in the Premier League, so the focus will be exactly the same."

Tbilisi, 14-time domestic champions, are huge underdogs for this evening's first leg.

Their squad is made up mostly of local players with the odd foreign import but club officials expect the Dinamo Arena to be close to its 54,000 capacity if the rain holds off, and Villas-Boas is wary of underestimating the opposition.

He added: "This play-off is an extremely difficult play-off. It can knock you out even before a taste of it has happened so we will pick a strong team."

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ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

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