Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas is hopeful Gareth Bale will reject the advances of Real Madrid but admits he is unaware of the Welshman's plans in the summer transfer window.
Madrid continue to be linked with a world-record £85m bid for Bale despite manager Carlo Ancelotti and president Florentino Perez seemingly cooling their interest in the 24 year old.
Bale has missed much of Tottenham's pre-season fixtures due to buttock and foot problems and was deemed mentally unsettled by Wales manager Chris Coleman ahead of his omission for the friendly against Republic of Ireland on Wednesday night.
The PFA Players' Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year last season has yet to make public his intentions in the window but has in the past made no secret of his desire to move abroad.
"His mental state nobody knows because the player doesn't speak," Villas-Boas said.
"The only thing that we are able to see or you [media] are able to see is the player arriving in and out of the training ground.
"We are aware that Real Madrid are interested in the player. It doesn't mean that we are willing to negotiate on him. Our idea is to count on Gareth.
"Speculation has arisen with the player because of the quality that he has and the season he had last season, the amazing moments of individual brilliance. Ideally, we'd like the player to continue belonging to Tottenham.
"We can speak to the players regarding their ambitions and we can explain to them that at certain stages players are under contract and have the responsibility towards their clubs and we as club, or the chairman as the person who controls the club, has to defend their own interest.
"You take [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo out of Barcelona and Real Madrid, you see how many points they have."
Having missed much of Tottenham's summer fixtures, Bale has already been ruled out of the start of the club's Premier League campaign against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
But the Portuguese boss expects a longer spell on the sidelines for the ex-Southampton winger as uncertainty continues to surround his future in north London.
"He is very far off regarding his fitness compared to the others but the player is a super-athlete," the Tottenham boss added.
"For Palace, for Dinamo Tblisi, for Swansea, he will not be in line to threaten to come back."
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