Andre Villas-Boas offered fresh reassurance last night over the future of Gareth Bale, insisting that Tottenham Hotspur have "no intention" of selling the Wales winger next summer.
Bale's future was placed on the agenda following his goal and starring performance against Liverpool, with Villas-Boas appearing to suggest that he might leave if a sufficient offer was forthcoming.
Although Villas-Boas had said that Tottenham wanted to keep Bale for as long as possible, he added that "players like this have propositions and a market."
Further quotes were posted on the Tottenham website, however, which underlined the strength of the club's position in relation to Bale.
"Gareth is performing at a high level at the moment, along with many of his team-mates, making a vital contribution as we seek to narrow the gap on the leaders," Villas-Boas said.
"Like all of our key players, Gareth is on a long-term contract as we continue to build for the future and his progression will be of benefit to our team. He is an important part of our future and we have no intention of letting any of our top players go."
Bale (below) signed a new contract this summer that commits him to Spurs until 2016, but the 23-year-old winger is the subject of interest from most of Europe's best clubs, including Barcelona. In previous interviews, Bale has suggested that he would have to review his situation at Tottenham if the club were not regularly playing in the Champions League.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, however, has proved consistently that he is quite prepared to turn down big offers for those players he has under a long-term contract.
Villas-Boas also likened Bale's taking of free-kicks to Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.
"Players learn through what they see," he said. "With Ronaldo we saw that you can almost hit under the ball and it gains an effect where it drops and changes direction. He (Bale) has the power to do that. He keeps on practising this technique and we are pleased to have it."
(© Daily Telegraph, London)