Spurs boss Villas-Boas bracing himself for Bale exit
Agence France-Presse in London
Andre Villas-Boas insists Gareth Bale's move from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid has yet to be concluded, but expects negotiations to progress very soon.
Bale was in Madrid when his Spurs teammates beat Swansea to secure a second successive Premier League win, and is expected to switch to the La Liga club in a world record £86 million (HK$1.04 billion) transfer.
But speaking after the 1-0 win over Swansea, 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."
Spurs' efforts to replace Bale were hit last week when a move for Brazilian midfielder Willian failed after he opted to move to Chelsea despite having a medical at Tottenham.
"Willian ... 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. But 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. " 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."