Premier League

AVB remains confident Bale will stay

Andre Villas-Boas remain confident Gareth Bale will not join Real Madrid and will stay at...
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Andre Villas-Boas has once again expressed his confidence that Real Madrid target Gareth Bale will stay at Tottenham this summer.

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The Welsh forward has been the subject of constant speculation regarding a move away from White Hart Lane, with Real reportedly leading the chase for the 23-year-old midfielder.

Villas-Boas has been keen to stress that chairman Daniel Levy has given him assurances that Bale will not be sold - and he said in an interview in his native Portugal that he has no reason to doubt that is the case.

"The chairman said that we are not open to offers, whatever they are, and that the player will stay," he told Portuguese newspaper O Jogo.

"In football anything can happen, but these are the guarantees given to me."

Bale was named the PFA Players' Player and Young Player of the Year last season after an impressive season which saw him net 21 league goals.

And Villas-Boas revealed that a heart-to-heart between the manager and his star man may have helped propel him to those heights.

"There was a moment last season when he came to me because he was not comfortable out on the pitch," he went on.

"I do not know if it was my response or that he was glad to relieve the stress, but after that he became confident and played with freedom.

"He felt important and finished the year in style."

Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea means that Villas-Boas will go head-to-head with his old boss next season when he faces the Europa League winners.

The 35-year-old served as an assistant to Mourinho at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan and eventually occupied the Stamford Bridge hotseat himself during an unsuccessful eight-month spell.

And while he admits that he and the two-time Champions League winner have had little communication of late, he still has the utmost respect for Mourinho.

He said: "Although we've grown apart, I think we are unified by professional respect."

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