Football - Duo keen for Bale to stay

Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles saluted Gareth Bale's excellence and then spoke of their hope that the PFA Player of the Year remains at White Hart Lane this summer.

PA Sport
Football - Duo keen for Bale to stay
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FOOTBALL Ossie Ardiles

Bale, 23, became just the third player in history to win the PFA's Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year award on the same evening.

Bale's terrific performances this season have led to renewed speculation that the forward, who scored his 24th Spurs goal of the season at Wigan on Saturday, could be the subject of a big-money bid from Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Manchester City this summer.

Bale has often said he would relish the chance of playing abroad but Villa, who made 168 appearances for the club, hopes he stays for a few years before moving on.

"He really is a great player, a top player," Villa told Press Association Sport. "He is one of these players who can do different things.

"I expect that he will stay at the club - they have a chance to qualify for Europe and this is a good point for him. I expect him to play for the club for two or three more years

"Maybe in the next few years he will need to move, but at the moment I believe he is expecting to win something important with this club. This is very important for him, I think."

Ardiles, who moved to Spurs 35 years ago with his compatriot Villa, is also confident that Bale will stay at the club. He concedes the chances of the player being tempted to leave, though, will increase if Tottenham do not qualify for the Champions League.

"As (Spurs boss) Andre Villas-Boas has said, we need to be in Europe to keep him and I think this is what is going to happen," said Ardiles, who played 311 times for the north London club.

"He is very happy playing at Spurs - he is a big idol there and a big hero. At the moment he is very happy indeed. I hope he stays for as long as possible at the club."

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