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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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AVB hopeful CL football will keep Bale

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas believes that Champions League qualification this season will be enough to secure Gareth Bale's future at the club.

• Blog: Bale saves Spurs again

Bale, 23, who has been in devastating form this season, has reportedly long been attracting interest from Europe's top clubs, including Barcelona and Real Madrid.

But Villas-Boas feels that securing Champions League football at White Hart Lane next season should be enough to retain the services of a player he has previously labelled as among the best in the world.

When asked whether qualification for Europe's elite club competition would keep Bale at the club, Villas-Boas said: "I think so.

"This is where most of the clubs want to be, and where most of the players want to play. It's part of our objectives so hopefully achieving it means we can attract better players and continue to hold on to our best players. It's extremely difficult, as it's difficult for us to have a player of this dimension playing so well."

The Portuguese also believes that Bale's high asking price, as well as the details of the player's contract, will make it difficult for even the Spanish giants to afford to take him off Tottenham's hands.

"It is difficult for other teams with the economic situation as it is to buy a player of this dimension," he said. "At the moment we are very, very fortunate to have him. I think we can reach our objectives with him at this level and if we reach our objectives we can hopefully continue to have Gareth in our club.

"We've discussed this at length. Players performing at this level always get the attention. It doesn't mean that the club doesn't foresee a future with Gareth. It's intimately related to what the objectives that we achieve for the season. He's a player we rate very, very highly."

Bale kept up his scoring run by hitting the first in Wales' 2-1 win over Austria on Wednesday.

Villas-Boas says he was delighted at what he saw, before reiterating his belief that the winger is among the world's elite.

"He's having a tremendous year," Villas-Boas said. "I think he's such an outstanding player all round. We saw him [on Wednesday], his performance was outstanding once again. I think he's really enjoying his football. When players feel good about what they do they're able to express themselves a bit better.

"He's certainly amongst the five best players, for sure."

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