Andre Villas-Boas warns Luka Modric over public courting of former Tottenham team-mate Gareth Bale

Welsh winger linked with switch to Real Madrid

Andre Villas-Boas today hit back at Luka Modric over his attempts to lure Gareth Bale to Real Madrid by ruling out any prospect of the Welshman leaving White Hart Lane.

Modric left Spurs for Spain in a £30m deal earlier this summer and was quoted as saying Bale could “achieve his dream” of winning the Champions League by joining him in Madrid.

Bale has been repeatedly linked with Real, Barcelona and a host of other top clubs but Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas insists the 23-year-old will remain in north London.

“Obviously Modric is aware of Gareth’s performances because of his love for Tottenham and the fact that he is very connected with him and this football club but it’s completely impossible,” he said.

“The club have to protect their assets regarding our objectives. As Luka said, we have to qualify for the Champions League so in order for that to happen we need players that can make the difference. In the end we are not looking to sell. We are first looking to achieve our objectives this season that is the most important thing.

“Modric’s team have qualified for the Champions League already but his team finished second [in the group] and he has to worry about getting into the quarter-finals when the draw comes out.

“He has to worry about Atletico Madrid this weekend, so I think he should focus more on his club than ours.

“But we don’t have conversations about players in other clubs and whatever their positions will be. We focus on what they have to do here.”

Villas-Boas expressed sympathy for supporters of his former side Chelsea over their anger at Rafael Benitez’s appointment but warned that the club are run at the whim of owner Roman Abramovich.

Benitez has been widely criticised by Blues fans after replacing Roberto di Matteo as interim manager six months after the Italian guided the club to Champions League glory and Villas-Boas said: “The roll of honours is outstanding since Abramovich arrived so, in the end, it is very difficult to balance the situation.

“He is certainly entitled to the changes whenever he wants. Sometimes he sets different patterns to what you expect, certainly with managers recently, but you can’t argue that his tenure hasn’t been successful. It is very difficult. If any other manager had arrived in that position, would the reaction towards Robbie have been so strong? I don’t know.

“What if [Pep] Guardiola had arrived, would the situation of support been as much as this one? Or would Guardiola be booed by the supporters as well?

It’s very difficult. Fans are entitled to whatever they want to say. It is a difficult situation for Rafa, a difficult situation for Chelsea.

“Fans are the people who represent passion for the game and the clubs and they are entitled to show their opinion. It is difficult for us as managers to accept sometimes.

“We shouldn’t reprimand them but we have to remind them that we give ourselves and all our hard work to the football club.”

Villas-Boas confirmed Benoit Assou-Ekotto is expected to return from a knee injury next week, while Scott Parker will resume full training in the next seven days after an Achilles problem.

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