Last Updated: Sat, 09 Feb 2013 17:19
Manager Andre Villas-Boas claimed Gareth Bale quitting Tottenham would have equal consequences to Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona.
Bale was in red-hot form at White Hart Lane, scoring both of Spurs' goals as part of a scintillating one-man show which was worthy of the hat-trick he was denied twice at the death by opposing keeper Tim Krul.
The brace took Bale's goals tally for the season to 19 for both club and country - comfortably his best ever return - and his form looks set to carry Spurs into the Champions League places at the end of the season.
As a result of his continued brilliance, he has been linked with moves abroad for the last two seasons and a clearly irritated Villas-Boas insisted that would not be happening, comparing any possible exit to that of Messi from Barcelona or Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.
"Obviously, we have spoken about that at length and are not going to go through it again," the Portuguese 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 so this is exactly the same.
"Teams are dependent on great organisation and also great individuals when they are able to express their football to the maximum."
It is often said that every player has his price but, in a league where buyout clauses do not exist, Villas-Boas does not expect his club to feel the need to cash in.
"There isn't a release clause in English football, it's very difficult to negotiate with Tottenham as you know and we are not willing to let our best assets go. We can't turn this into a debate every time a player does well," he said.
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