Bale sale worries Redknapp
Harry Redknapp has warned that his ambitious attempts to win the Premier League title at Tottenham could collapse if Gareth Bale is sold.
Just three weeks after signing a new contract at Spurs, Bale admitted on Monday that he could leave White Hart Lane should one of Europe's top clubs come calling.
Jose Mourinho indicated Real Madrid would not be making an offer for the 21-year-old, but a summer bidding war between the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona and Inter Milan is not out of the question, with all three reportedly interested in the player.
After terrorising Inter in the group stages, Bale will get the chance to showcase his talent once more when he takes to the field in Tottenham's Champions League quarter-final first leg clash against Real Madrid tomorrow night.
Redknapp has warned any admirers that Bale is not for sale and is determined to hang onto his star man and keep him at the heart of his plan to bring silverware to White Hart Lane.
"We don't want to sell him," Redknapp said.
"If you are looking to build a club, you can't be selling Gareth as then (Luka) Modric would want to go and then someone else would want to go. Then Tottenham would end up where they were four or five years ago, finishing halfway up the table each year.
"I had it at West Ham. We let Rio (Ferdinand) and Frank (Lampard) go and then the rest followed.
"Once you start selling one then I think it sends out the wrong signals.
"I'm sure it would have to be an amazing figure if you ever sold him.
"But how do you replace a player like that? It's very difficult."
With Tottenham struggling to make it into the top four, Redknapp admits Bale's head could be turned by a club offering him Champions League football next year, but insists a move would be detrimental to the youngster's development.
"If a player comes in and says that he wants to go, or the agent says that he wants to move, there is very little you can do about it, but I don't see that happening," Redknapp added.
"I think that he needs a few years playing at home. He is only a boy. He has plenty of time to do that later in his career."
Bale trained with his team-mates at the Bernabeu earlier on Monday evening and will start Tuesday's match against the nine-time European champions so long as he suffers no recurrence of the hamstring injury that has troubled him recently.
Spurs were given an additional lift with the news that William Gallas could make a surprise return from a knee complaint that prevented him from kicking a ball just three days ago.
Other injuries mean the Londoners may not be able to fill their allocation of seven substitutes for tomorrow's match, but Redknapp insists his team of underdogs can still beat Mourinho's side - and even make it to the final.
"I don't feel any pressure. No-one expected us to be here at the start of the season and we have a big chance of winning," Redknapp said.
"We are not just coming here to turn up. We want to keep progressing.
"The dream is still there for us. We have to make that dream come true. We want to go all the way if we can. We know how difficult it's going to be but there is still a chance and we have to take it."
Much of the pre-match focus centred around the fitness of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Madrid forward has been battling a hamstring injury, but some have suggested his injury was part of a mind-games ploy by Mourinho.
Redknapp has no doubt that the former Manchester United man will feature and admits he will prove hard to shackle.
"He is an absolute certainty to play," Redknapp said.
"He and (Lionel) Messi are the best to players in the world so it will be hard to stop him."