Andre Villas-Boas actually answered some questions on Gareth Bale pretty directly in his post-match presser, following the Monaco friendly. The take away for a lot of readers will surely be his statement that Bale is "not for sale," but that would be slightly to take his words out of contact. AVB also confirmed ongoing talks with Real Madrid, which has to mean that Bale is indeed in some fashion for sale.
Villas-Boas said that the suggestion the 24-year-old is on the brink of leaving White Hart Lane is just speculation. "These rumours of an imminent transfer are not true," said Villas-Boas, after seeing his side lose 5-2 to Monaco in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.
Bale, who has a foot injury, remained in London where he reportedly had already said his farewells to his Tottenham teammates.
"Normally this kind of situation is monitored by the Football Association. The only thing we can say officially is that the player is not for sale," added Villas-Boas. "Gareth is a guy I really like. We are talking with Real Madrid because there is respect between the two clubs following the transfer last season of Luka Modric. We are building a great team for next season. We envisage the future with Gareth. But we know that in football anything is possible."
This is a statement that could easily precede by a week or two the sale of the player in question. It's not a rejection of all claims, and in fact it confirms the existence of talks already widely reported. And Andre Villas-Boas does not control the club's transfer policy.
But this would be a slightly odd comment to make if Bale were already effectively sold. I think we can conclude that it isn't happening right at this moment. Which is something.