Gareth Bale insists the thought of leaving Tottenham never crossed his mind this summer.
By Pete O’Rourke
The Wales international’s future was the subject of speculation over the summer with the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid credited with an interest in the 23-year-old.
However, Bale pledged his long-term future to Tottenham by signing a new four-year deal in June.
When asked if he considered leaving Spurs at the end of last season, the winger said: “No. I’ve always been focused on my game, playing football, and I’m enjoying myself here at the moment so there’s no reason to go anywhere.
“I’m enjoying my football, we’ve got a great squad now and hopefully next season we can get Champions League football, where we should be.”
Bale was in an optimistic mood as he reflected on Tottenham’s 3-1 win over Reading on Sunday – their first under new manager Andre Villas-Boas.
Two weeks ago the team were booed off after putting in a drab performance in their 1-1 draw against Norwich but Bale thinks good times lie ahead for Spurs under Villas-Boas.
Bale believes last week’s move to Tottenham’s new state of the art training complex has instilled a new-found sense of belief within the squad that can help the team go on the type of run which pushed them towards the top of the table in the first half of last season.
“We didn’t have a great start last year and we were in a similar position this year,” added Bale.
“We went on a run last season and there’s no reason why we can’t do it this year.
“It feels like a new club at the moment with the new training ground. It has excited everybody, and has brought everybody up again.”
The poor start the London club endured under Villas-Boas had led some to question chairman Daniel Levy’s decision to bring the Portuguese in to replace Harry Redknapp, who was sacked despite finishing fourth, fifth and fourth in his three full seasons at the club.
Villas-Boas’ failure to hang on to Luka Modric, and the sale of fans’ favourite Rafael van der Vaart, raised a few eyebrows, but the £21million double capture of Moussa Dembele and Clint Dempsey from Fulham looks an inspired bit of business.
Bale, now in his sixth season at White Hart Lane, feels the club are stronger than they were at the end of last season, and brushed off reports Villas-Boas was under pressure after the poor start to his reign.
“I haven’t heard anything about (Villas-Boas’) future,” Bale said. “He’s here to build a team and it’s a new way of playing for us, compared to last season.
“It does take time. Everybody should understand that. There has been an improvement in every game and you saw that at Reading.
“Everybody just has to be patient. Things will come and it’ll start to click like it did yesterday and, hopefully, we can push on from there.
“Everyone feels fresh again and we’ve got the new signings now, which is great.
“We’ve got a stronger squad now than we did at the start of the season. Our plan is to win every game and we’ll be trying to do that.”
Bale also backed Dembele to help fill the void at White Hart Lane left by Modric’s departure
“Moussa’s come in and he’s been absolutely fantastic,” noted Bale.
“He scored on his debut, played unbelievable against Reading and he’s been a great addition to the squad.
“Obviously it’s not nice to see your big players go but I’m sure he can fill his (Modric’s) boots and more.”