ESPN FC: Gareth finally to go?
Tottenham head coach Andre Villas-Boas refused to comment on speculation that Gareth Bale could be unveiled as a Real Madrid player on Friday.
Speaking after watching his team secure a thumping 5-0 win at Dinamo Tbilisi in the first leg of a Europa League play-off, Villas-Boas said: “On Gareth, I am not able to comment on anything.”
Spurs technical director Franco Baldini flew to Madrid earlier this week to negotiate the details of a world record move that could be worth more than £90 million.
Bale, 24, did not play as Spurs strolled in Tbilisi -- with Spurs saying he had a foot injury -- and it now appears that the Wales international has played his final game for the North Londoners.
Villas-Boas said he was concentrating on “building a very strong team” at White Hart Lane before stressing: “On Gareth, I am not able to comment on anything. That has been my tone since the start of the season, and I will not come out of it.''
The likelihood that the move is all but tied up appeared greater when reports said the Real Madrid 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 appeared to show the option to buy a Bale No. 11 replica shirt. Shortly after those screen grabs were taken, the page was unavailable due to site maintenance.
Spurs have already spent £60 million on four new signings, but doubt has been cast on the future of Anzhi Makhachkala’s Willian, who had appeared set to tie up a £30 million move to White Hart Lane.
The Brazil international has undergone a medical at Tottenham -- but reports now suggest he is in “advanced talks” with Chelsea over a potential switch to Stamford Bridge.
Blues owner Roman Abramovich is a fan of Willian, and ESPN FC sources have said the Blues have expressed interest in the player, but the extent of that interest remained unclear on Thursday evening.
Villas-Boas said he had no knowledge of that potential development, adding: “We were just involved in a game, so unfortunately I can't give you further information.
“I confirmed our interest in the player. Everything is possible, but I'm not aware of the circumstances because of our involvement in the [Dinamo] game.
"We have been active in the market and I think what you have seen this season from Tottenham is no leaks -- we are quick in the market and achieved great players as we were able to act quickly.
"We want to continue that way, so it is very difficult for me to speak about players that belong to other clubs and are not part of my team."
Chelsea, meanwhile, have refused to comment on the speculation.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.