English Premiership

AVB bracing for Bale exit

2013-08-26 09:27
Andre Villas-Boas (AFP)

London - Andre Villas-Boas insists Gareth Bale's move from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid has yet to be concluded, but expects negotiations to move on within the next 48 hours.

Bale was in Madrid when his Spurs team-mates beat Swansea City to secure a second successive Premier League win, and is expected to switch to the La Liga club in a world record 86 million (100 million euros, $134 million) transfer.

But speaking after the Swansea win, Tottenham manager Villas-Boas said: "There is interest from Real Madrid. Whether the transfer will happen or not, hopefully you will have more news in the next couple of days, but at the moment there is nothing I can tell you.

"We allowed him two days off. It's not the first time this has come up. We never force non-selected players to come to our games. I decided that last season. I have another player (on) two days off and he was not here."

And he added: "Tomorrow is a day off. Tuesday is training so I would expect him to be there."

Spurs efforts to replace Bale were hit last week when a move for Willian, the Anzhi Makhachkala midfielder, failed after the player opted to move to Chelsea despite undergoing a medical at Tottenham.

"Willian has made the choice to join Chelsea. He is a person I have a good relationship with and I wish him good luck. He made a choice he feels is important to his career," said Villas-Boas.

The manager is now believed to be interested in Zenit St Petersburg forward Hulk, although he refused to discuss the link. He did, however, confirm he expects a move for Steaua Bucharest centre back Vlad Chiriches to be completed soon. "There is an interest in the player, maybe someone will steal him as well," he said. "I have been telling you we have looked to strengthen our (defence) since the departure of (Steven) Caulker. You always want four central defenders and we are going to go ahead with it."

Without Bale, Tottenham claimed three points thanks to a penalty from Roberto Soldado, the Spaniard's fourth goal in three games. Villas-Boas's side featured a number of summer signings including Nacer Chadli, Soldado, Paulinho and Etienne Capoue.

Villas-Boas said: "We had lots of new signings and the technical qualities they have enabled them to play like this. I think they are all showing their quality. They have also brought a new mentality. They are showing a great will to win. We are able to control possession and control the games."

Defeat means Swansea have failed to take a point from their opening two league games and manager Michael Laudrup is now poised to up his interest in West Bromwich Albion forward Peter Odemwingie.

"He's a player with pace who knows the league but there will be more links the closer we come to deadline," he said. "There will be more rumours with our club and others. But it's no secret, I'm pleased with my squad but we need one more thing in that area and then we can have a complete squad - if you can have such a thing."

However, Laudrup warned his side must change if they are to compete against the division's top teams. "We have to accept too that physically most of other teams are stronger than us, but we compensate with the way we play," he said. "We did it for the first 30 minutes and last 30 minutes."

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