Real Madrid have been dealt a blow in their attempts to lure Gareth Bale to the Bernabeu, with Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas insisting that the Welsh attacker will not be going anywhere this summer. Bale is widely believed to be the player that Madrid covet most for the upcoming transfer window as they look to put the disappointment of last season behind them and rebuild under a new manager.
Despite Tottenham having missed out on Champions League qualification, Bale has made no comment about wanting to leave the London club. Spurs also appear determined to hold onto their prized asset, despite Madrid reportedly prepared to offer €100 million for the 23-year-old.
“The chairman has pledged that Bale isn't leaving the club,” Villas-Boas said, according to Spanish sports daily Marca. The comments would appear to have even more weight behind them with reports that the Portuguese coach has turned down an approach to replace Madrid-bound Carlo Ancelotti at Paris Saint-Germain. The retaining of Bale could well have been an assurance given for Villas-Boas to remain at Tottenham.
If and when Ancelotti does arrive at the Bernabeu, one of his first pieces of business will be to urge Madrid president Florentino Perez to bring Corinthians midfielder Paulinho to the club, reports Marca. The 24-year-old is currently impressing at the Confederations Cup where the all-round midfielder demonstrated his eye for goal with a fine strike in Brazil’s victory over Japan.
Corinthians recently revealed that they are aware of interest from Tottenham, although there have yet to be any formal offers. According to Marca, long-standing suitors Inter are still interested and have the edge having already spoken with the player. Yet, Ancelotti is apparently so keen to land the €20 million rated player that Kaka could be used as a makeweight in a deal.
With Gonzalo Higuain reportedly set to join Arsenal, a priority for Real Madrid this summer is to bring in a new striker. One of their leading targets Edinson Cavani recently revealed his desire to join Los Blancos, but the Uruguayan has now added that nothing has yet been agreed.
“Everyone wants to play for the biggest clubs in the world, clubs with a lot of tradition,” he said, according to Sky Sports. "But nobody knows my future, I don't know anything. I only know that I am a Napoli player. The truth is that there is nothing concrete, nothing official."
Napoli are unlikely to allow Cavani to leave for less than his €63 million release clause and another club playing hardball over their prized asset is Malaga with their young starlet Isco. The attacking midfielder has revealed that there have been offers from both Madrid and Manchester City. However, Malaga have insisted that the 21-year-old will not be allowed to depart for anything other than his €35 million buyout clause.
"He is a magnificent player, very important for us -- and if the offer which arrives is not the one which should arrive, we will not sell the player," executive vice-president Moayad Shatat said, according to ESPN. "We want him to be sold for his price, for what he is worth. We do not need to sell him for an inappropriate price."