Tottenham Hotspur skipper Michael Dawson has said Spurs must hold on to Gareth Bale and all of their top stars if they are to regularly compete in the Champions League and the Premier League.
Spurs' victory in the north London derby last weekend took them to third in the table, boosting their chances of securing Champions League football by moving them seven points clear of Arsenal in fifth.
But Welsh sensation Bale, who has 10 goals in his last eight appearances, has been linked with a transfer away from White Hart Lane, most recently to Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid. Dawson told talkSPORT keeping hold of Bale is important for the club's future success.
"Tottenham have got to keep Bale," he said. "But you have to keep all of your best players if you want to be playing in the Champions League regularly and fighting to finish as high as you can in the Premier League."
He added: "Gareth has been brilliant. He's been linked to here, there and everywhere, but when a player is playing as well as he is, that's going to happen. He's a Tottenham player and long may that continue.
23-year-old Bale, who became the first Welshman to score 16 goals in a Premier League season in Spurs' 2-1 win over Arsenal, has been receiving plaudits from the fans and media, but Dawson stressed the quality throughout Andre Villas-Boas' squad.
Dawson said: "There are lots of players in that dressing room who have been brilliant. Hugo Lloris, for example, has only just come in and is finally getting the plaudits he deserves. He's been fantastic, Tottenham now have competition in every position."
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