Villas-Boas admits worries over Bale contract
Midfielder yet to agree fresh terms with Tottenham as Real Madrid remain keen
Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud (top) controls the ball during their friendly soccer match against Urawa Reds, as part of Arsenal’s Asia Tour 2013, in Saitama, north of Tokyo, yesterday. Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters
Andre Villas-Boas has admitted that despite continuing talks between Tottenham Hotspur and Gareth Bale over a new deal there are no guarantees the player will sign fresh terms.
Bale, who is currently injured and so will not take part in today’s Asia Trophy third-place play-off (weather permitting) with South China in Hong Kong, has been the subject of intense speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid.
While some reports suggested that the Spanish club have already made a bid for him, Villas-Boas revealed that Spurs are trying their best to keep hold of their prized asset on an improved deal. “There was contact between the club and his agent last year and there is ongoing contact between the club and his agent,” the Spurs manager said.
“We renewed his contract at the beginning of last season, if you remember, and it is something that is being dealt with by the chairman and the agent. Talks are ongoing but that doesn’t mean there is an agreement.
“At the moment we’re confident the player is under contract at Tottenham, as was done last year. It’s something that we are speaking about, but there aren’t any developments.”
Villas-Boas refused to talk about any official offers for Bale, but said: “He is a special player and he had a wonderful season last year. Everybody recognised the level he was playing at.
“We were extremely happy with the level of his performances. We are speaking with his agent about possible improvements to his contract, but we don’t need to make any further statements than the ones we made regarding the transfer speculation or his contract.”
Last season, the 24-year-old signed a new club deal that expires in 2016. If a further contract is agreed and signed then Bale could expect to earn a basic salary of about £150,000 a week in exchange for extending his stay.
Villas-Boas also reiterated his interest in the Valencia striker Roberto Soldado despite the Spurs director of football, Franco Baldini, having failed to agree a fee for him. “There is interest in the player, no matter what happened in the last couple of days. He is a quality player, he has done well at Valencia for the last few seasons. He has had a good education from the Real Madrid school and he is a player which we are interested in adding.”
However, with Liverpool also interested in Soldado, who joined Valencia from Getafe three years ago and scored 24 goals for them last season, Villas-Boas faces competition for his signature.
Bale will miss today’s game in Hong Kong because of an injured right buttock, but he is one of a few players that Villas-Boas should have available again soon including Sandro, Jake Livermore and Lewis Holtby.