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Tottenham boss rips Madrid coach over Bale pursuit

Updated: 2013-08-05 07:20
By Agence France-Presse in Monaco ( China Daily)

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas upped the stakes in the Gareth Bale transfer saga when he blasted Real Madrid counterpart Carlo Ancelotti for his public pursuit of the highly-prized Welsh international.

Villas-Boas insisted that Bale was not for sale and even pictured the 24-year-old still in a Spurs shirt this season.

Bale is widely expected to complete a world record move, valued at around 100 million euros ($132 million), to the Spanish giant this week.

But Villas-Boas said that the suggestion the player is on the brink of leaving White Hart Lane is just speculation.

"In my opinion Carlo was wrong to make it public," said Villas-Boas, after seeing his side lose 5-2 to Monaco in a preseason friendly on Saturday.

"We had conversations with Real and these were then confirmed publically which, in my opinion, was wrong.These rumors of an imminent transfer are not true."

Bale, who has a foot injury, remained in London where he reportedly had already said his farewells to his Tottenham teammates.

"Normally this kind of situation is monitored by the Football Association. The only thing we can say officially is that the player is not for sale," added Villas-Boas.

"Gareth is a guy I really like. We are talking with Real Madrid because there is respect between the two clubs following the transfer last season of Luka Modric.

"We are building a great team for next season. We envisage the future with Gareth, but we know that in soccer anything is possible."

As Bale works on his fitness, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was due to sit down for his first face-to-face talks with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez in Miami this week, possibly on Wednesday, The Times reported on Saturday.

Real is keen to see Bale at the Bernabeu ahead of its opening league game against Real Betis on Aug 18.

Bale is set to become the most expensive player of all time, an honor currently held by Cristiano Ronaldo, who moved from Manchester United to Real for 94 million euros ($125 million, 82 million pounds) in 2009.

Levy is reportedly holding out for a transfer fee in excess of 105 million pounds while Real is looking to strike a deal at around 85 million pounds with a makeweight, possibly Fabio Coentrao, thrown in.

On Saturday, Tottenham was also without new 30 million euro recruit Roberto Soldado and saw Jermaine Defoe limp off with a hamstring strain.

Monaco, now coached by former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri, was promoted back to the French top flight last season.

It was a worthy winner with Radamel Falcao, its 60 million euro signing from Atletico Madrid, scoring two goals. Monaco was a goal ahead after 15 minutes when Italian defender Andrea Raggi volleyed beneath Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal.

(China Daily 08/05/2013 page23)