Andre Villas-Boas admits Champions League qualification is vital to keep Gareth Bale at White Hart Lane

Winger has been linked with a move to Real Madrid

Andre Villas-Boas knows that Tottenham Hotspur must help Gareth Bale to fulfil his potential or he will do so elsewhere. The Spurs manager admitted that keeping Bale was "intimately related" to whether they qualify for the Champions League. And, with Emmanuel Adebayor in a rush to make tomorrow's game against Newcastle United, Villas-Boas may allow Bale to play up front.

Bale is in exceptional form, scoring brilliant goals in Spurs' last two games. Villas-Boas conceded that having a player as good as Bale was "extremely difficult", and that without Champions League football next season it would be harder to keep Bale.

When asked whether Champions League football might secure Bale's immediate future, Villas-Boas agreed. "This is where most of the clubs want to be, and where most of the players want to play. It's part of our objectives so hopefully achieving it means we can attract better players and continue to hold on to our best players."

Bale had said last April that if Spurs did not qualify for the Champions League he would "have to sit down and discuss and see what's best for myself". Tottenham finished fourth but did not qualify for the Champions League because Chelsea wonthe competition, but Bale signed a new four-year deal last June.

Villas-Boas does believe that Bale might better realise his potential playing up front. Bale started as a second striker at the Hawthorns on Sunday.

"There is a possibility that we continue with the 4-4-2 with Gareth as a striker," Villas-Boas said about tomorrow's game. "Playing him up front with somebody else can help his game too, in terms of space that the other can create and the link up play. Gareth is such a phenomenal player that he is able to do that kind of role. So it means a player can explore his full potential through the middle. Gareth feels well in that position. If he's able to fulfil his full potential it's something we have to consider for the future."

It is a move that Cristiano Ronaldo also made and Villas-Boas did not shy away from comparing his player to the Real Madrid star: "Both of them are extremely technical players and extremely powerful and pacey. You can see some similarities."

Bale might well be needed up front tomorrow if Adebayor is not available. Jermain Defoe is out for up to three weeks but Adebayor was still in Africa on Thursday morning, although Villas-Boas insisted he was relaxed about the striker's return from the African Cup of Nations. "The player is fit," he said. "If he is able to be ready physically, we will select him and he will be in contention."

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent