Villas-Boas won’t be drawn on Gareth Bale
Tottenham manager says he knows nothing about reported Chelsea interest in target Willian
Tottenham technical director Franco Baldini has travelled to Spain to discuss Gareth Bale’s transfer to Real Madrid. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images
Andre Villas-Boas refused to comment on speculation regarding Gareth Bale’s future - but Real Madrid already appear to think they have got their man.
Tottenham technical director Franco Baldini flew to Madrid on Wednesday to negotiate the finer details of Bale’s world-record transfer to the nine-time European champions.
Real have made no secret of their desire to sign Bale this summer, and they hope to finalise a reported €109 million deal for the 24-year-old in the coming days.
Reports in Spain even suggested the two clubs would announce the deal on Friday.
Bale sat out Tottenham’s 5-0 win over Dinamo Tbilisi, the official reason cited was that he had a foot injury, and it now appears that the 24-year-old has played his last game for the north London club.
Villas-Boas tried to dodge the first question about Bale in his post-match press conference by saying he was concentrating on “building a very strong team,” when asked about the progress of Bale’s transfer.
When pressed on the forward’s future he responded by saying: “On Gareth I am not able to comment on anything that has been my tone since the start of the season and I will not come out of it.”
Regardless of Villas-Boas’s posturing, it seems that Bale is finally closing in on the transfer he has been pining for all season.
Madrid have even started selling Bale Real Madrid shirts, it seems.
The Spanish giants kept the number 11 free when they announced their squad numbers in pre-season and screen grabs of the club’s official online shop appeared to show the option to buy a Bale replica shirt for €73.
Shortly after the screen grabs were taken, the site was down for maintenance.
If Bale does seal his move to the Bernabeu in the near future, it will mark the end of one of the longest-running transfer sagas of the summer.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has pulled off a coup by spending most of the cash from Bale’s sale even before it has been confirmed, thus avoiding the inflated costs often quoted to clubs who are known to have lots of money to spend.
Spurs have already spent £60million on four new signings, and the club have also been holding talks in London with Roma officials over the potential signing of Erik Lamela, the highly-rated Argentina midfielder.
Lamela’s agent flew into the English capital on Thursday to join the talks and Tottenham hope to finalise the signing of the player in the next few days.
Doubt has been cast on their pursuit of Anzhi Makhachkala forward Willian, however.
The Brazilian has undergone medical tests at Tottenham ahead of a proposed £30million move, but reports have suggested that Chelsea are now in pole position to sign the 25-year-old.
Villas-Boas said he had no knowledge of Chelsea’s reported interest in the player.
“We were just involved in a game so unfortunately I can’t give you further information,” the 35-year-old said. “I confirmed our interest in the player. Everything is possible, but I’m not aware of the circumstances because of our involvement in the (Dinamo) game. I don’t want it to be a distraction over what we achieved here tonight.”
The Blues refused to comment on speculation that Willian could be bound for Stamford Bridge.