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By ESPN Staff

Tottenham chief will wait for Bale signing

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has called for patience in the club's attempts to sign teenager Gareth Bale from Southampton.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitted at the weekend that Spurs had moved ahead in the race to sign the 17-year-old Wales left-back, but Levy does not want to rush a deal and could even wait until the end of the season.

It is the first time Spurs have confirmed interest in Bale, a player who Southampton boss George Burley believes should stay at St Mary's for first-team experience.

'When you are trying to attract a 17-year-old it is a very big decision for him and his family and we are giving all the time in the world for them to make a decision,' Levy told Sky Sports News.

'January is always a difficult time to buy players and certainly our philosophy here is to end the window, whether it be January or the summer, in a better position than we started, and we have already signed three players early on.'

Spurs have bought goalkeeper Ben Alnwick from Sunderland and signed French youngster Adel Taarabt on a long-term loan from Lens.

Portugal centre-back Ricardo Rocha has been bought from Benfica for around £3.3million but Spurs tend to leave their business until late in the window.

'Lots of activity often happens in the last couple of days in the window but I would be very surprised if any of our first team players were to leave,' added Levy.

'We have a great squad, I think it will improve over time, and unless the right opportunity comes up that will take us further, we are not going to do business for the sake of it.'

Spurs have been linked with Derby youngster Giles Barnes but Rams boss Billy Davies insists there has been no contact between the two clubs, while Newcastle winger Damien Duff has distanced himself from a move away from St James' Park.

Edgar Davids, meanwhile, looks set to join Ajax, where the Dutch midfielder started his career.