- Premier League
Spurs boss desperate to keep hold of Bale
Andre Villas-Boas has said he wants to build Tottenham's future around Gareth Bale after again dismissing speculation that the Welshman could join Real Madrid in the summer.
In-form Bale has scored six of Tottenham's last seven Premier League goals, with his estimated transfer value soaring to around £50 million.
But Spurs manager Villas-Boas said he does not see why the Wales international would have to leave White Hart Lane to fulfil his potential.
"We have the best league in the world, in my opinion, and while the best clubs continue to attract the best players, a player can develop to his full potential in this league," Villas-Boas said. "Gareth has that in mind.
"We don't want Gareth to go in any circumstances. Our chairman is very difficult [for other clubs] to deal with, and we will try to hold onto our assets.
"We believe we have to hold onto our best players in order to achieve our objectives, and our objectives every season go higher.
"This season we want to finish in the Champions League, and next season you never know what team we can build if we can manage to achieve our objectives for this season."
Villas-Boas refused to play down suggestions Bale is edging closer to Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo in the global pecking order, suggesting that his form has brought him close to that level.
"Comparisons are going all over the place and the level of form of the player means people recognise that he is world class, and obviously those two [Messi and Ronaldo] fit that category," he said.
"I suppose that merit is due where it is due and, at the moment, Gareth is showing that level of form. To be at the level of those two who have won so many trophies, you have to achieve what they have. This is what we want to do with him here.
"You can see in his performances recently that he is enjoying his football, and that is what we want. Bale is a major threat. You can't allow him any space. He unsettles opponents with his pace, power and technique. Hopefully, we can see him continue with this form and continue to be decisive."