Tottenham Hotspur coach Andre Villas-Boas has said he thinks that very few clubs in Europe would be able to buy his team's star man Gareth Bale.
These words may well have been aimed at Real Madrid, who as AS reported two months ago, are keen on signing the left-winger.
"He is up there with the best," said the Portuguese coach in praise of the Welshman after Spurs's 4-0 victory over Aston Villa on Wednesday, in which Bale scored a hat-trick.
"The team changes so much from one year to another, and as he keeps learning, he will feel even better and probably his performances will improve. His finishing is very accurate. He has been prolific in front of goal this season and I think he is enjoying getting into those positions. His left foot is wonderful and the power and direction he applies on the ball is wonderful too. He is showing tremendous skills and he is improving every day - he is such a young player - and helping the team."
And the coach appeared confident that his club could hold onto Bale.
"He is one of our major assets. But in England there are no release clauses and a player of his quality has a value that is not within the reach of many clubs."
Madrid would love to add the explosiveness and talent of Bale to their attack, already one of the best in the world, boasting Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Özil, Luka Modric, Ángel Di María, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuaín.
However, Madrid already know what Villas-Boas's comments confirmed: they will only be able to sign Bale for an astronomical amount of money.