Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has compared Gareth Bale to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo - and warned clubs that the Welshman will not be sold without a fight.
Bale continued his brilliant form this season with two goals in Spurs’ 2-1 win over Newcastle on Saturday to take his tally for the season to 13 league strikes.
The 23-year-old’s performances have have attracted interest from European giants including Real Madrid, but Villas-Boas believes Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will do everything to keep the club’s star man.
“Great teams are made of great individuals too,” said Villas-Boas. “Gareth has been decisive and I’m happy to see him enjoying his football - but it’s unfair to say we rely on him.
“Most teams have to hang on to their best players. Barcelona losing Messi would be a disaster, Real Madrid losing Ronaldo would be a disaster.
“There are no release clauses at English clubs and it’s very difficult to negotiate with Tottenham - as you know!”
Spurs would demand at least £50 million for the attacker, who has featured in a more central role in recent weeks.
Villas-Boas has admitted that Tottenham must qualify for next season’s Champions League to have any chance of keeping their star man and he was delighted with his side’s hard-fought victory over Newcastle.
The Portuguese also dedicated the win to goalkeeping coach Tony Parks and his son Joe, who was seriously injured in a car accident this week.
“We have done our job today and closed one more league game to the end of the season. We worked exceptionally hard.
“It’s a win we want to dedicate to Joe Parks, who is in a coma after a car crash.”