The spat between Tottenham and Real Madrid over Gareth Bale’s transfer to the Bernabeu continued on Thursday after the Spanish club’s vice-president accused Daniel Levy of holding up the deal.
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas confirmed on Wednesday that Bale could move to Madrid “very, very soon” and that only the finer details regarding the world-record transfer had to be finalised.
But on Thursday night, just four days before the transfer window shuts, Bale still remains on Tottenham’s books.
Real and Spurs have sniped at each other throughout the summer.
Tottenham have been unhappy with Real’s conduct, most notably their decision to erect a stage at the Bernabeu to unveil a player who did not belong to them.
Tottenham chairman Levy has angered parts of the Real hierarchy with his hard bargaining and the Spanish club’s vice-president Fernando Fernandez Tapias accused Tottenham of stalling.
Speaking in A Coruna, ahead of a friendly match against Deportivo La Coruna on Thursday evening, he said: “There are problems but in the end I think it will happen. I thought he was going to be here, but so far he’s not in Madrid, although he possibly will be.”
As for whether the deal will go through, he said, according to Spanish news agency Efe: “I think so, but I couldn’t swear on it. We’re going to wait because they are dragging their feet.
“There is no doubting Bale’s class, but Real Madrid without Bale is a great Madrid. We have a team of warriors.”
Tottenham are thought to be waiting to complete the signings of the two replacements they have lined up for Bale – Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela - before they allow their star player to leave.
Villas-Boas could not shed any light on the progress of the transfer on Thursday night following his team’s 3-0 win over Dinamo Tbilisi in the Europa League.
“I have no idea. The chairman is in control of the situation,” the Portuguese said.
“Whatever happens, happens.”
Lamela, Eriksen and Steaua Bucharest defender Vlad Chiriches are understood to have all undergone medical tests on Thursday.
But after seeing Willian move to Chelsea despite having completed a medical at Tottenham, Villas-Boas was reluctant to speak about the progress of the three deals, which would take the club’s spending to £106million.
“At the moment I can’t tell you anything because players can have medicals and they can end up in different places,” Villas-Boas said with a smile.
Villas-Boas did profess his admiration for Romania defender Chiriches, who will cost Spurs around £8.5million if the deal goes through.
“He is an interesting player that has been followed by lots of teams,” Villas-Boas said.
“He has tremendous qualities coming out with ball and that’s what we like in our defenders. He is a great leader.”
Villas-Boas admitted that there are likely to be several outgoings before Monday night’s 11pm deadline, although the Tottenham boss is optimistic of keeping Jermain Defoe after watching the striker score a brace in Thursday’s win.
“Players will probably go out,” Villas-Boas said.
“It can happen but at the moment we are just taking it day by day.
“You know how frantic it can be in the last few days.”
Villas-Boas refused to be drawn on speculation that Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Emmanuel Adebayor, who have not featured for Spurs this season, will leave.
“Benoit has just returned to first-team training. He had a fever,” Villas-Boas said, explaining the left-back’s absence.
“Adebayor is regaining his form after he came back (from Togo).”