Premier League

Villas-Boas plays down Barcelona link

Premier League: Gareth Bale plans to stay at Spurs despite transfer rumors.
Premier League: Gareth Bale plans to stay at Spurs despite transfer rumors.
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Will Cesc Fabregas join Manchester United? Find out that and more in the Rumor Mill.

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has cooled talk about the vacant Barcelona job and insisted Gareth Bale is not for sale at any price.

Villas-Boas emerged as a contender to replace Tito Vilanova at the Nou Camp just hours after the 44-year-old was forced to step down as head coach to continue his treatment for cancer. But despite being among the bookies' favorites for the Nou Camp job, the Portugese boss gave short shrift to questions about his future.

"It's a difficult situation," Villas-Boas told Sky Sports News, speaking after Spurs' goalless preseason friendly draw at Colchester. At this time, all my wishes are with Tito. If he has to resign over illness, it's not the time to speak about speculation. We're speaking about a person's health, it's not even a question."

Club president Sandro Rosell told a hurriedly called news conference at Barcelona's training facility on Friday that Vilanova will ''follow a treatment'' that will be ''incompatible'' with staying on as coach.

Rosell said that a new head coach would be named next week and that Barcelona was canceling its first friendly of the preseason, scheduled to be played in Poland on Saturday against Lechia Gdansk.

Bale's position at White Hart Lane continues to be scrutinized as well, with Real Madrid and Manchester United known admirers, but Villas-Boas said the club had not received an offer for its talisman - and nor would consider one.

"No offers, no," he added. "Bale is not for sale at any price."

Bale, along with Clint Dempsey and Aaron Lennon, missed Friday's trip to the Weston Homes Community Stadium as a precaution but their manager revealed knocks would not rule them out of next week's trip to Hong Kong. Brad Friedel, Jan Vertonghen and Emmanuel Adebayor were all included in a strong starting lineup but the Premier League side failed to find a way through.

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