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HONG KONG (AFP) – Spurs are in talks with Gareth Bale over a new contract, manager Andre Villas-Boas said Friday, in a bid to keep him away from the clutches of Real Madrid.
The star winger, 24, was reported earlier this week to have come to an agreement with Real and there were claims he had told the Londoners he wanted to leave.
"There was contact last year between the club (Spurs) and his agent. There are ongoing contacts between the club and his agent," said Villas-Boas.
"The player renewed his contract last year, at the beginning of the season, and it's something that is being dealt with by the chairman and his agents.
"Talks are ongoing but it doesn't mean that there is an agreement."
Asked if he was confident Tottenham and the flying Welshman could agree a new improved deal to keep him at the club, Villas-Boas, speaking in Hong Kong, said: "Yes, at the moment we are confident that the player is under contract and a very good contract done by Tottenham last year.
"So it is something that we are speaking about but we haven't had any further development."
Villas-Boas refused to say if any club had made an offer for Bale -- Manchester United are also reportedly interested in last year's standout performer in the Premier League.
"I am not going to make any comment on that one," he said.
"The player is a special player and had a wonderful season last year. We recognise the level he was playing at. At the moment we are extremely happy with his performances and happy with the conditions that he has.
"We understand that we are speaking with his agent for a possible improvement but at the moment we don't need to make any further statement regarding transfer speculation or his contract."
Bale did not play on Wednesday against Sunderland in the Barclays Asia Trophy because of injury and he has kept a low profile in Hong Kong.
"He is very near to recovery and I think we will only see him back in training in London," the Spurs boss said.
"He has made a slight strain, he has pulled his muscle on his right side. Seven to 10 days is a normal period for this kind of injury and he is within that timeframe. He's very near to coming back."
Villas-Boas said that Spurs were no closer to striking a deal for prolific Valencia forward Roberto Soldado, 28.
"There is interest in the player but not a lot has happened in the last couple of days," he said.
"We are in discussion but it doesn't mean the deal is going to happen. He's a player that is a quality player and has done well in Valencia for the last five seasons and there was good education from the Real Madrid school, where he was found.
"He's a player we are interested in having but I don't have any further developments to give you."