Andre Villas-Boas believes Gareth Bale’s treble award-winning season means he deserves a new Tottenham Hotspur contract.
Bale has three years left on his Spurs deal but this season – in which he has scored 25 goals and won the PFA Player and Young Player and FWA Footballer of the Year awards – has been so good that the club’s manager Villas-Boas has backed him for improved terms.
“I think for the season he has just had he deserves a new contract,” said Villas-Boas yesterday, although adding that there was no rush. “Obviously, we will put to bed everything in terms of the speculation coming out, which we are very, very calm about, as I told you a couple of weeks ago. But it would be an excellent reward for what he has achieved this season.”
Bale’s remarkable form will inevitably attract interest from Manchester United and Real Madrid but Villas-Boas warned that even Europe’s biggest clubs should look elsewhere.
When asked whether the summer of transition at United and Madrid would make it easier to keep Bale, Villas-Boas agreed. “Probably,” he said. “Obviously, David [Moyes] will set up new targets. I’m pretty sure that whatever David does in the market will be excellent. But to get a player of Gareth’s dimension is firstly not in our interests but also very, very difficult.”
While Tottenham cannot clinch Champions League qualification by their own efforts alone, Villas-Boas predicted that Bale would still be at White Hart Lane next season. “I have those guarantees,” the head coach said. “You can always make your own understanding from what the player says and how he feels. He is very, very driven to be successful but you can see that he is enjoying his football and all of the indications that I have are that he will continue.”
Spurs go to Stoke City tomorrow knowing that they will probably need to win both their games and hope that Arsenal drop points against either Wigan Athletic or Newcastle United in order to clinch a top four finish.
Mousa Démbéle will train again today for the first time since recovering from a hamstring injury but Villas-Boas was confident of his availability. “He is still in recovery,” he said. “We sent him to Holland, he will come back ready for selection. He will come back fully fit.”
Emmanuel Adebayor should continue up front after a brilliant performance at Chelsea on Wednesday night, when he scored one remarkable solo goal and set up Gylfi Sigurdsson’s equaliser with a back-heel.
“There is a stage where every player transcends himself and obviously what was at stake was great,” Villas-Boas said. “Ade in recent fixtures has had some pain in his knee – a minor thing – but he put himself forward and had an amazing game. It was good to see him at that level. Hopefully, his form will continue.”
Race for Champions league
* The matches that matter
Saturday Aston Villa v Chelsea
Sunday Stoke v Tottenham
Tuesday Arsenal v Wigan
19 May Chelsea v Everton, Newcastle v Arsenal, Tottenham v Sunderland