Tottenham winger Gareth Bale has stressed that he never thought about leaving the club, despite reported interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona in the summer.
The Wales international has been heavily linked with a move to the two Spanish giants since his rise to prominence at the north London club, but the 23-year-old committed his future to Spurs by signing a new four-year deal in June.
To further silence doubters, when asked if he considered leaving White Hart Lane at the end of last season, he told reporters: “No. I’ve always been focused on my game, playing football, and I’m enjoying myself here at the moment so there’s no reason to go anywhere.
“I’m enjoying my football, we’ve got a great squad now and hopefully next season we can get Champions League football, where we should be.”
Andre Villas-Boas’ men ended their winless start to the campaign by beating Reading 3-1 at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday, with the former Southampton man contributing a goal.
The left-sided player remains confident of their chances this year, while citing the new state of the art training ground as another reason to be cheery.
“We didn’t have a great start last year and we were in a similar position this year,” he continued. “We went on a run last season and there’s no reason why we can’t do it this year.
“It feels like a new club at the moment with the new training ground. It has excited everybody, and has brought everybody up again.”
Reports had suggested that Villas-Boas had three games to save his job at Spurs after the lacklustre start, however the Portuguese denied that he was under pressure, with the Welshman adding that he deserves time to settle.
“I haven’t heard anything about [his] future,” Bale continued. “He’s here to build a team and it’s a new way of playing for us, compared to last season.
“It does take time. Everybody should understand that. There has been an improvement in every game and you saw that at Reading.
“Everybody just has to be patient. Things will come and it’ll start to click like it did yesterday and, hopefully, we can push on from there.
“Everyone feels fresh again and we’ve got the new signings now, which is great.
“We’ve got a stronger squad now than we did at the start of the season. Our plan is to win every game and we’ll be trying to do that.”
Questions were raised when Tottenham allowed both Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric to leave the club over the summer, but Bale is sure that new man Mousa Dembele, who scored on his debut against Norwich City, can go on to be just as successful.
“Mousa’s come in and he’s been absolutely fantastic,” the attacker added. “He scored on his debut, played unbelievable against Reading and he’s been a great addition to the squad.
“Obviously it’s not nice to see your big players go but I’m sure he can fill [Modric’s] boots and more.”