x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Tottenham star Bale to stay and 'repay' fans

Winger's decision to stay despite Champions League reverse is boost for club who are eyeing manager Villas-Boas.

Gareth Bale was on the wishlist for many clubs.
Gareth Bale was on the wishlist for many clubs.

Gareth Bale is determined to propel Tottenham Hotspur back into the Champions League after signing a new four-year contract.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City were linked with a move for Bale, but he has extended his stay at White Hart Lane by a further season until 2016.

The 22-year-old Wales winger made his decision despite Tottenham's failure to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Instead, he wants to ensure Spurs, who have yet to replace the dismissed coach Harry Redknapp, are restored to Europe's elite competition for the 2013/14 campaign.

"The club is progressing and I want to be a part of that, so it was great to get the deal done," Bale told the club's official website on tottenhamhotspur.com.

"I've been here for five years now and I've enjoyed every minute. The fans have been great to me and I'd love to repay them and do the very best for them.

"The club is progressing and I want to be a part of that, so it was great to get the deal done."

Bale's decision to stay is a coup for Spurs, who are in a state of flux following the departure of Redknapp last week.

The former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas reportedly is close to succeeding Redknapp after edging the France coach Laurent Blanc for the post.

A pressing concern for Villas-Boas will be resolving the future of Luka Modric, who has been strongly linked with a transfer to Real Madrid.

But the pain of losing Modric will be less acute now that Bale, a £7 million (Dh40m) signing from Southampton in 2007 who is now valued at £40m, has agreed fresh terms.

Hopes of signing Jan Vertonghen are fading, however, due to a clause in the Belgium defender's contract with Ajax that would give him 15 per cent of the agreed £9.5m transfer deal.

Completing a busy day at White Hart Lane was Vedran Corluka's transfer to Lokomotiv Moscow in a three-year deal.

Meanwhile QPR have completed the permanent signing of the Mali midfielder Samba Diakite from French side Nancy.

Diakite, 23, has agreed a four-year deal with the Loftus Road club having initially joined on loan last season. He made nine appearances for QPR last term.

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