Tottenham captain Michael Dawson and striker Jermain Defoe have urged Gareth Bale to commit his future to the club, as rumours linking the Welsh superstar with a summer move continue to circulate.
Dawson and Defoe were speaking at the official launch for the new Spurs kit, where Bale was used as the leading figure in their latest promotion campaign that suggests the club are confident of hanging onto their 23-year-old talisman despite interest from Real Madrid.
"Gareth a special player and you want to keep your top players," Defoe told reporters. "It's important that Gareth stays. This year, we want a great season and we want to get into the Champions League and to do that you've got to keep your best players.
"What Gareth did here last year was unbelievable when you look at the amount of goals he scored. He was outstanding. It's hard for me to talk about the speculation (surrounding Bale), but we obviously want him to stay."
Dawson went on to suggest he "felt lucky" to be playing alongside Bale each week, as he promoted the personal virtues of a player who is preparing to start his seventh season as a Tottenham player.
"Gareth is known worldwide and I'm very lucky to play with him," stated Dawson. "Some of the goals he scored last season were unbelievable and if we keep bringing players in, it is only going to make us better as a squad. That is what we all want.
"I remember him coming in as a 17-year-old. He's not changed, he's a top guy, he's got a great family around him. He's one of the boys and the lads love having him around. You certainly want to keep someone as good as him."
Despite his high profile appearance at the kit launch, Bale opted not to make any comments to the British media, as he avoided fuelling speculation over his future by only speaking to overseas journalists.