at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
London - Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas admits the scintillating form of Gareth Bale may make it difficult for the Premier League club to hold on to their prize asset.
The Wales winger was at his inspired best in the 2-1 victory over Liverpool at White Hart Lane on Wednesday, a result that lifted the hosts into fifth place in the Premier League table.
The 23-year-old set up Aaron Lennon for Tottenham's first goal, galloping 50 yards and beating four players before teeing up his team mate after seven minutes having already tested Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina with a dangerous free kick.
Reina then had no answer just after the quarter-hour mark when Bale's expertly placed free kick took a small deflection off the wall to double his side's advantage.
Bale unwittingly let Liverpool back into the match on 72 minutes when Lennon's goal-line clearance rebounded off his head into the net and he was also booked for diving, although it appeared Liverpool defender Daniel Agger did make contact with him.
Bale's form, however, has made him one of the most feared players in the Premier League and one of the most sought after despite the club reportedly valuing him at 50 million pounds ($79.92 million).
“At the moment he is performing extremely well for Spurs and we are amazed at what he can do for us. He is on to a great career,” Villas-Boas told reporters.
“Obviously Tottenham as a football club want to keep him here for as long as we can but we understand players like this have propositions and a market which is the nature of the game.”
Villas-Boas said Bale's ability to take free kicks compared favourably with the likes of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Players learn through what they see. With Ronaldo we saw that you can almost hit under the ball and it gains an effect where it drops and changes direction. He (Bale) has the power to do that. He keeps on practising this technique and we are pleased to have it.
“He's scoring more than last season by this stage. He is more free, getting more of the ball, the team is creating conditions for him to appear more. He is enjoying himself on the pitch.
“His physical freshness, his motivation towards playing, what he does offensively and defensively. He takes over the whole of the left wing. He helps the full-back so much. It's never-ending. His pace, it's electric.
“This is a player who was captain for 90 minutes against Lazio, played 90 minutes against West Ham, Liverpool, he keeps on going. Him and Lennon down the channels have been absolutely amazing this season.”
Bale, who signed a new four-year contract in June, has scored six goals in 14 Premier League appearances this season after netting nine in 36 matches in 2011-12. – Reuters