Andre Villas-Boas says he has been assured that Gareth Bale will stay with Tottenham this summer - even if the club do not qualify for the Champions League.
Bale is enjoying his best season and his stock rose even further when he was named Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association. Last week Villas-Boas, whose team currently sit in fifth despite Bale's 19-goal haul in the Barclays Premier League, sparked fears that the Tottenham forward could leave this summer if the team do not make the top four.
But the Spurs manager insists that the 23-year-old will remain at White Hart Lane even if the team fail to qualify for the competition. "The information that I have from the club, which was mistakenly written about last week, is that the player is here to remain, independent of the objectives of Champions League qualification being achieved or not," Villas-Boas said.
"I would be extremely surprised (if he left).
"In football anything can happen. It's impossible to predict, but this is the assurance I have had from the club.
"We understand that the more awards the more recognition the player will have, the more media attention, but the club has to move forward by holding onto its best players.
"With the recognition and the further experience that he has had from this year, next year for Tottenham he will be even more assertive."