Tottenham greats eager for Gareth Bale to remain at White Hart Lane

Welshman won the PFA Player of the Year award last night

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The Independent Football

Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles saluted Gareth Bale's excellence and then spoke of their hope that the PFA Player of the Year remains at White Hart Lane this summer.

Bale, 23, last night became just the third player in history to win the PFA's Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year award on the same evening.

The Welshman beat Robin van Persie, Luis Suarez, Juan Mata, Michael Carrick and Eden Hazard to win the highly-coveted senior award, which he also clinched two seasons ago.

Bale's terrific performances this season have led to renewed speculation that the forward, who scored his 24th Spurs goal of the season at Wigan yesterday, could be the subject of a big-money bid from Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Manchester City this summer.

Bale has often said he would relish the chance of playing abroad but Villa, who made 168 appearances for the club, hopes he stays for a few years before moving on.

"He really is a great player, a top player," Villa told Press Association Sport.

"He is one of these players who can do different things.

"I expect that he will stay at the club - they have a chance to qualify for Europe and this is a good point for him. I expect him to play for the club for two or three more years

"Everyone wants to play for these big, big clubs, but he has a lot of things to do for Tottenham.

"Maybe in the next few years he will need to move, but at the moment I believe he is expecting to win something important with this club. This is very important for him, I think."

Ardiles, who moved to Spurs 35 years ago with his compatriot Villa, is also confident that Bale will stay at the club.

He concedes the chances of the player being tempted to leave, though, will increase if Tottenham do not qualify for the Champions League.

"As (Spurs boss) Andre Villas-Boas has said, we need to be in Europe to keep him and I think this is what is going to happen," said Ardiles, who played 311 times for the north London club.

"He is very happy playing at Spurs - he is a big idol there and a big hero. At the moment he is very happy indeed.

"From the point of view of a Tottenham supporter, I hope he stays for as long as possible at the club."

Prior to tonight, only Cristiano Ronaldo and Andy Gray had won both the junior and senior awards for the same season.

Ardiles has been pleased with how the pacy forward has performed this term.

"I think he deserves to win. He has had a superb season," Ardiles said.