Andre Villas-Boas uncertain whether Gareth Bale is close to signing new Tottenham deal

The Welshman has been linked with big money moves to Real Madrid and Manchester United

Andre Villas-Boas today reiterated his desire to keep Gareth Bale at Tottenham.

Bale has been in scintillating form this season, scoring 30 goals for club and country.

The Welshman's contract runs out in 2016, but Tottenham have a history of improving the terms of a player's deal if they have had an outstanding season.

Reports this morning suggested the 23-year-old was close to signing a new and improved contract that would see him earn up to £170,000 a week.

Villas-Boas was unsure whether Bale is close to signing a new deal, but the Tottenham manager is in no doubt that he wants the former Southampton man at the club next season.

"I'm not sure (about whether Bale is close to signing a new deal), our interest is for the player to continue here and I've made that very clear," Villas-Boas told a press conference this morning.

"Whatever is happening, the idea is for the player to be here next season.

"I have said this numerous times. We are pretty confident we will be able to keep him."

Spurs are expected to be active in the transfer market this summer, regardless of whether they sneak in to the Champions League at Arsenal's expense during this weekend's tense final round of matches.

Tottenham have relied heavily on Bale's scoring ability this term, with neither Emmanuel Adebayor nor Jermain Defoe able to maintain their consistency or fitness throughout the season.

Barcelona striker David Villa is one of several players who have been linked with the north London club.

At 31-years-old, he does not look like the kind of striker that Spurs would normally pursue, but if the club can negotiate a cut-price deal with Barca, having a man who has won a World Cup and Champions League in the ranks would certainly help Villas-Boas next term.

The Spurs manager said: "He's one of the world's best strikers.

"What comes out of speculation at this time at Tottenham is very surreal because you know this club is very active in the last weeks of the transfer window, so you can see that speculation is growing here and there but at the moment we are focused on trying to get the fourth spot."

Tottenham led Arsenal by seven points in March, but their form dipped thereafter, leaving the Gunners in poll position to finish above their neighbours for the 18th consecutive season.

Tottenham must win at home to Sunderland and hope that Arsenal drop points at Newcastle.

Should they win they will end the season with 72 points - their largest haul in the Premier League era - and, as Villas-Boas points out, that total would have comfortably been enough to guarantee a top-four finish in previous seasons.

"In the past it would have been enough to make it," the 35-year-old said.

"It would have been enough apart from the 2007/08 season when the fourth-placed team (Liverpool) finished with 76 points.

"It would be a reference for what the other teams are doing and how competitive they can be. You have to strengthen for next season to get a higher tally of points."

Many have questioned whether Tottenham will be able to attract top-quality players this summer if they fail to qualify for Europe's top club competition, but Villas-Boas disagrees.

The Portuguese thinks Tottenham's history, and their £45million state-of-the-art training ground, will be enough to attract top stars this summer.

He said: "I'm not sure (Champions League qualification) is that key because Tottenham has a great tradition in football, it has conditions that other clubs don't have but equally these facilities.

"And I think we have a group of players that attract other players to come here. They are good quality players and other players, in bigger or same level squads, would want to join up and play with them."

PA

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