- Premier League
Villas-Boas silent as Bale prepares to leave Spurs
Andre Villas-Boas refused to comment on speculation that Gareth Bale could be unveiled as a Real Madrid player on Friday.
Speaking after watching Tottenham secure a thumping 5-0 win at Dinamo Tbilisi in the first leg of their Europa League play-off - Bale did not play with Spurs saying he had a foot injury - Villas-Boas said: "On Gareth, I am not able to comment on anything."
Madrid have been pursuing Bale throughout the summer, and the BBC claims the two clubs are in "advanced talks" over a deal, although an agreement has yet to be reached. Spurs' director of football Franco Baldini is in the Spanish capital to thrash out a deal, and is reported to be attempting to include Fabio Coentrao as part of the transfer which would see Bale leave White Hart Lane.
Baldini has already overseen a number of new signings arriving at Tottenham this summer, with the club believed to have agreed a deal in principle for the sale of Bale a fortnight ago.
And it is now reported that the two parties are at the advanced stage of negotiations regarding an agreement which would see Bale move for a world-record transfer fee of £85 million, which would surpass the £80m Madrid paid to Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
The likelihood that the move is all but tied up appeared greater when Madrid's website had included Bale's name on a list of those that can be printed on the back of shirts. Screen grabs of the club's official online shop showed the option to buy a Bale No. 11 replica shirt. Shortly after those screen grabs were taken, the page was taken down for "site maintenance".
Spanish newspaper Marca on Friday morning reported that Bale is set to earn £8.5m-a-year after tax at Madrid, making him the club's biggest earner alongside Ronaldo and Kaka.
The report was headlined 'Just needs a signature' and claimed it was a "question of hours" before Bale put pen to paper on a six-year contract at the Bernabeu