Transfer news: Forcing Gareth Bale to stay amid interest from Real Madrid is 'very difficult' admits Tottenham director

While Bale may be leaving, Sir Keith Mills reveals there are more arrivals 'in the pipeline'

Tottenham director Sir Keith Mills has admitted that keeping Gareth Bale at the club amid interest from Real Madrid is “very difficult”.

In an exclusive interview with the Evening Standard, Mills trots out the usual line that "we very much want Bale to stay", however he goes on to admit that the Welshman can't be forced to remain at White Hart Lane.

Spurs and Real Madrid are in talks over a deal which is expected to break the current transfer record of £80m that the Spanish club paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.

The deal is expected to go through after the player expressed a desire to move to the Bernabeu - and it is that element that Mills admits takes a move out of Spurs' control.

“If a player is desperate to leave, it’s very difficult to force him to stay," he said. "We’ve seen it in other clubs. Even if he has a contract, you can’t force somebody to play for you.”

Mills agrees Tottenham are in a Catch-22. If they’re not in the Champions League, Bale may not stay. But, to get into the Champions League, they need players like Bale.

“That’s precisely the issue,” he says. “So this summer, we are investing in a great squad and we hope that provides us with Champions League football next year and we start to win trophies, FA Cups. That’s what Tottenham need. We have made some good acquisitions.”

Spurs have spent heavily this summer, bringing in Brazilian midfielder Paulinho for £17m, Spanish international Roberto Soldado for £26m and Nacer Chadli for £7m as the look to clinch a top-four finish in the upcoming season.

In the interview with the Evening Standard, Mills also revealed "there are others in the pipeline” and claims there is a focus on bolstering the attacking options at White Hart Lane - something that will be neccessary if Bale, who scored 26 in all competitions last season, leaves the club.

“Strikers are very high on AVB’s list of priorities and Daniel [Levy, the chairman] is trying hard to make sure we have strength up front. It’s a really exciting time to be at the club.”

For the full interview in the Evening Standard, click here.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
news
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor