Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has said he believes Gareth Bale would be worthy of a lucrative new contract even if the Londoners miss out on Champions League qualification.
After reports suggested Spurs chairman Daniel Levy was preparing to offer Bale a deal that would shatter the club's current wage structure, Villas-Boas said the Welshman would merit such an offer.
Bale, 23, has produced a series of sparkling displays in recent months and says he is happy at White Hart Lane, and Villas-Boas said: "It would be good [if he signed a new contract].
"Obviously we could put to bed every single speculation that is coming out. I think it would be an excellent reward for what he has achieved this season."
Villas-Boas said Bale had been knocking on his door earlier in the season as he pushed his claims to be given a central striking berth, with the subsequent decision to play him in a free role reaping huge dividends for both player and club.
"He said he wanted me to help him to enjoy his football a little more," the manager explained.
"We had a good conversation. Hopefully it turned out well for both of us. From that moment onwards, his drive, his passion and his ambition towards the height of elite football have been immense, and it shows through the great season he has had.
"Gareth deserves all the awards that have been coming his way because his form and consistency this season have been incredible."
Villas-Boas urged Tottenham to back him in the transfer market regardless of whether or not they secure Champions League football, insisting the club must build on the progress made this season.
"We have to understand that if we don't make it, we won't make it in the future," he added.
"You always have to progress with that in mind. I think the budget might be different because the money that is available from the Champions League is different, but the commitment from the club must be the same.
"If you want to bridge that gap, you have to invest."