Bale: Harry should stay at Spurs
Gareth Bale has pleaded with Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp to stay at White Hart Lane amid reported interest from Chelsea.
Redknapp saw the odds of him taking the job slashed to evens on Thursday after a bookmaker reported a surge in betting for the 64-year-old.
The former Portsmouth boss has distanced himself from reports linking him with the Stamford Bridge post, but the fluent attacking football he has brought to Spurs, and his success in the Champions League this year, make him a plausible target.
Redknapp guided the north London club to the quarter-finals of the Champions League in their first season in the competition after seeing off the likes of Inter Milan and AC Milan before losing to Real Madrid.
Bale, who has been Tottenham's star this season with a number of excellent displays, credits Redknapp with bringing stability to White Hart Lane following the exit of Martin Jol and the failed reign of Juande Ramos, and wants him to stay.
"I want him to stay, definitely," said Bale.
"Since I've been at the club we have had three managers and it's obviously nice to have him there because he has brought a bit of stability.
"We have got used to him and how he manages and how he wants us to play so it will be great to keep him.
"Nobody wants him to go and the club, I'm sure, will do everything they can to keep him."
Bale's future has been a source of constant speculation throughout the year. The 21-year-old alerted the world to his potential when he scored a stunning second-half hat-trick against Inter Milan in October before running rings around Brazil right-back Maicon in the return fixture a month later to help Spurs to a memorable 3-1 victory.
The Welshman moved to quash speculation about his future by signing a new four-and-a-half year contract in March, but rumours persist of big-money summer bids from Manchester City, AC Milan and Barcelona.
Bale admits that playing abroad would one day appeal to him, with Barcelona being one possible destination, but he insists he is happy at Tottenham for now.
"I left home when I was 15 and it was quite difficult then but if I have to move abroad then it's something I wouldn't be scared of," said Bale, who was speaking at the Sony Stadium in Hyde Park, London.
"Barcelona play great, great, football but I'm happy where I am.
"I'm focused on what we want to achieve as a team next season and I'm enjoying my football here. I'm still 21, I'm getting a good run in the team and I'm still learning my football."
A poor final quarter of the season cost Spurs the chance of playing in the Champions League for the second successive season.
After experiencing the thrill of dining at Europe's top table, Bale admits playing in the Europa League will be hard to stomach.
"It's massively disappointing that we didn't get fourth," Bale said.
"This season we have been to the biggest stadiums and played the biggest teams. It was nice just to travel around to different countries and enjoy the football.
"We are definitely going to miss all that but that's what gives us the hunger and desire to get in there next year."
Spurs are braced for a series of bids for their stars from a number of clubs who can offer them Champions League football.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is known to be a keen admirer of the brilliant Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart is also on the radar of AC Milan.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy insists that none of the club's best players will be sold this summer, and Bale hopes he keeps his word.
"Keeping our best players is even more important than signing new ones," the former Southampton man said.
"We have a great squad now. We have done very well this season, we are all still quite young and we are trying to get a consistency that will get us higher up the league."