Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas has likened star man Gareth Bale to world superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese was speaking after Bale had put in another match-winning performance for Spurs, scoring both goals in the 2-1 win over Newcastle United on Saturday.
White Hart Lane fans will be dreading the prospect of losing the Welsh winger but speculation surrounding his future persists, with Real Madrid consistently linked with making a large bid this summer.
Villas-Boas is desperate to keep Bale at Tottenham, saying losing him would be equivalent with Barcelona losing Lionel Messi or Real Madrid selling Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, the former Chelsea manager was concerned that his side have come to rely on the 23-year-old so much and said any team wishing to buy him would have to prepare themselves for some tough negotiations.
“Gareth has been decisive and I’m happy to see him enjoying his football - but it’s unfair to say we rely on him,” he said.
“Most teams have to hang on to their best players. Barcelona losing Messi would be a disaster, Real Madrid losing Ronaldo would be a disaster.
“There are no release clauses at English clubs and it’s very difficult to negotiate with Tottenham - as you know!”
Tottenham will hope securing a Champions League spot for next season can go some way in helping Spurs hang on to Bale.
However, he has spoken of a desire to try football in another country at some point in his career and Jose Mourinho is reportedly a great admirer of a player that is said to have a price tag on him in the region of £50million.