In a very frank interview Thursday (via the Independent), Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas tied the future of the club's top stars to the club's ability to qualify for next season's Champions League.
The comments came in response to several questions surrounding the future of star winger Gareth Bale, who has hit incredible form of late, scoring wondrous goals in each of his past two matches for Spurs and a friendly for Wales on Wednesday.
When asked about whether Bale might be departing White Hart Lane soon, Villas-Boas was clear that it hinged on the club's current campaign to qualify for the Champions League:
It depends on what you achieve. I think keeping your best players – or attracting the best players – is intimately related to how you foresee your future, and the objectives that you might get in the season. Hopefully we can do just that with the Champions League.
[The Champions League] is where most of the clubs want to be, and where most of the players want to play. It's part of our objectives so hopefully achieving it means we can attract better players and continue to hold on to our best players.
Players performing at this level always get the attention. It doesn’t mean that the club doesn’t foresee a future with Gareth. He’s a player we rate very, very highly.
...Just as it’s difficult for us to have a player of this dimension playing so well, it is difficult for other teams to buy a player of this dimension, with the economic situation as it is. We are very fortunate to have him. If we reach our objectives we can hopefully continue to have Gareth at our club.
With Tottenham currently sitting in the pole position to earn a top-four Premier League finish and the Champions League spot that comes with it, it is easy for supporters to feel bullish on the club's hopes to reach their goals.
However, AVB's comments should serve as a dose of reality for club and supporters, emphasizing just what is at stake for the club.
Failure is not an option for Spurs this season, not with the potential for the club's best players to look elsewhere come summer.
Hopefully Tottenham can get their run-in off on the right foot against a feisty Newcastle side on Saturday.
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