Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has effectively confirmed Gareth Bale’s departure to Real Madrid, and said the player’s behaviour in refusing to turn up for training has not been "correct".
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Villas-Boas could not confirm when exactly the deal would be finalised, but said it is not dependent on incoming transfers. The Portuguese did state, however, that Bale had said his goodbyes.
"At the moment the two clubs are speaking -- Tottenham and Real Madrid -- to outline the final decisions or statements of contracts and I am not sure how much time it will take," Villas-Boas said.
"It could happen very, very soon. It might not happen so soon so I suppose it could go to the last days or it could happen in the next two days.
"It’s not up to me to finalise the deals. I don’t drag out anything. This is between clubs for one reason or the other. This deal has not happened because it has taken this time.
"You wouldn’t expect the biggest transfer in world football to happen easily. Whenever they get to an agreement, end of story."
When asked whether Bale’s departure was dependent on Tottenham fully replacing him, Villas-Boas said: "I don’t think so. We’ve been very, very active in the market so I don’t think so."
The Spurs boss, however, did intimate criticism at the behaviour of a player he otherwise retains a healthy relationship with.
"I gave the player the weekend off, Monday was a day off for the squad. He is involved in a big transfer move to Real Madrid in the end if it happens, we wish him all the best.
"What he left here is great memories and the fact that he hasn’t turned up, I don't think it's the correct behaviour, but in the end it's a position of pressure and a statement from the player or whatever that means. It's a position they chose to take. It's up to the club now to decide if it's a fineable offence.
"I don’t think he’s on strike. Will he be in tomorrow? I don’t know. I’m not really in control of the situation I’ve left it up to the club to decide what they want to do.
"Until the transfer happens the player is a Tottenham player. If there are orders for him to be here and he is not, I can only leave it to club officials to deal with it. It’s up to the club to decide whether or not it’s a breach of club rules. I’ve given my opinion on it, it’s up to them to decide whether they act on it or not."
He added: "It’s up to Gareth [whether he owes the club a proper goodbye]. He has a good relationship with everybody and he has saluted the players the other day, myself included.
"What's happening is a dream move for him so I think in the end this could have happened in a different way, but Tottenham will be in the end… there will be a three-way agreement for the player to go and Tottenham will accept most likely the biggest transfer in world football. In the end if Tottenham accept it and everything goes alright it will be end of story.”
Villas-Boas could not confirm whether the bids that had been made were concrete bids, but stated there was "certainly interest from other clubs". It is understood that Spurs had approached Manchester United about a potential deal.
Villas-Boas also maintained that Spurs would not be negatively affected by the saga.
He said: "We have a very, very strong team the same. If this transfer happens, it will give the opportunity to step up their game, step up the responsibility and I think we have seen that in the last couple of games.
"No disruption, we’ve been working well, the team is training very, very well. [We have] played three games, fortunately with three wins. Three good wins. At the moment, there isn’t any disruption. If the transfer is finalised soon, or whenever, we wish the player good luck in his future.
"He left great, great memories with us and we wish him all the best."