Villas-Boas admits Real Madrid target Gareth Bale could be sold after excelling in win over Liverpool

The 23-year-old set up Lennon for Spurs' opener and rifled in a free kick in a thrilling opening half hour, before later scoring an own goal in the club's 2-1 win over the Reds
Andre Villas-Boas refused to rule out the sale of Tottenham winger Gareth Bale after his match-winning performance against Liverpool in Wednesday night's 2-1 victory at White Hart Lane.

The Portuguese boss lavished praise on his winger before suggesting the 23-year-old would have his suitors and it would be difficult for the club to keep hold of him, with having exclusively revealed that the Welshman is ready to tell Spurs of his intent to leave next summer if Real Madrid meet his €60 million asking price.

Villas-Boas told reporters: "At the moment he is performing extremely well for Spurs and we are amazed at what he can do for us. He is on to a great career.

"Obviously Tottenham as a football club want to keep him here for as long as we can but we understand players like this have propositions and a market which is the nature of the game."

In a sensational opening 30 minutes, the Wales international assisted Aaron Lennon's opener by beating two players near the halfway line and careering towards the penalty area, finally squaring for Lennon to tap in.

Soon after, he took his tally for the season to seven after deceiving Pepe Reina with the flight of his free kick - the work of a technique modelled on Cristiano Ronaldo.

And Villas-Boas could see the similarities in the comparisons between the two stars, adding: "Players learn through what they see. 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."

Tottenham's win was their fifth consecutive triumph over Liverpool at White Hart Lane and Villas-Boas apportioned this victory to the effectiveness of Bale.

"He's scoring more than last season by this stage," he said. "He is more free, getting more of the ball, the team is creating conditions for him to appear more. He is enjoying himself on the pitch.

"His physical freshness, his motivation towards playing, what he does offensively and defensively. He takes over the whole of the left wing. He helps the full-back so much. It's never-ending. His pace, it's electric.

"This is a player who was captain for 90 minutes against Lazio, played 90 minutes against West Ham, Liverpool, he keeps on going. Him and Lennon down the channels have been absolutely amazing this season."

There was a sour note, though, as Bale was cautioned by referee Phil Dowd in the second half for simulation. However, replays appeared to show Daniel Agger made contact with Bale just before he went down and Villas-Boas sympathised.

"I'm told there was contact," he added. "He's very, very quick – sometimes it's difficult for the referees to judge the situation. Sometimes you might think that it's not a foul when it's a foul and vice-versa."