MONACO (AFP) - Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas upped the stakes in the Gareth Bale transfer saga when he blasted Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti for his public pursuit of the highly-prized Welsh international.
Villas-Boas insisted that Bale was not for sale and even pictured the 24-year-old still in a Spurs shirt this season. Bale is widely expected to complete a world record move, valued at around 100 million euros (S$168.8 million), to the Spanish giants next week.
But Villas-Boas said that the suggestion the player is on the brink of leaving White Hart Lane is just speculation. "In my opinion Carlo was wrong to make it public," said Villas-Boas, after seeing his side lose 5-2 to Monaco in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.
"We had conversations with Real and these were then confirmed publically which, in my opinion, was wrong." Villas-Boas added: "These rumours of an imminent transfer are not true."
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."
As Bale works on his fitness, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was due to sit down for his first face-to-face talks with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez in Miami next week, possibly on Wednesday, The Times reported on Saturday.
Real are keen to see Bale at the Bernabeu ahead of their opening league game against Real Betis on August 18.
Bale is set to become the most expensive player of all time, an honour currently held by Cristiano Ronaldo, who moved from Manchester United to Real for 94 million euros in 2009.
Levy is reportedly holding out for a transfer fee in excess of £105 million (S$204 million) while Real are looking to strike a deal at around £85 million with a makeweight, possibly Fabio Coentrao, thrown in.
On Saturday, Tottenham were also without new 30 million euro recruit Roberto Soldado and also saw Jermaine Defoe limp off with a hamstring strain.
Monaco, now coached by former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri, were promoted back to the French top flight last season.
They were worthy winners with Radamel Falcao, their 60 million euro signing from Atletico Madrid, grabbing two goals.
Monaco were a goal ahead after 15 minutes when Italian defender Andrea Raggi volleyed beneath Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal.
Two minutes after the interval, Argentine winger Lucas Ocampos got in front of Harry Kane to head home.
In the 49th minute Falcao scored his first goal of the night, a simple tap in from a pass by Ocampos.
Kane pulled one back for 3-1 just before the hour, but Falcao restored the three-goal cushion with a 15-yard drive which screamed past Lloris.
It was 5-1 after 71 minutes when midfielder Mounir Obbadi finished off a three-man break.
Andros Townsend hit a fierce long-distance strike with five minutes left to reduce the deficit to 5-2.