Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale put a huge amount of pressure on Tottenham to force a move to Real Madrid, according to Andre Villas-Boas.

Andre Villas-Boas has revealed the pressure that Gareth Bale placed on Tottenham to force through a move to Real Madrid, admitting that he believed the club could have challenged for the title had the winger stayed.

Despite having a contract running until 2016 Bale reportedly refused to play for Tottenham in the opening games of the season in the hope of securing a move to Madrid.

The Spanish giants ended up stumping up a world-record breaking bid to secure the star and while Tottenham spent big this summer and signed a host of attacking stars it appears Villas-Boas would rather have kept his main man than let him go.

"The pressure we were subjected to by the player has been intense," the manager told the Telegraph. "The influence of Real Madrid has been very big and you get to a point where you have to consider if it's feasible not to accept an offer and whether you can press on with a player in that state of mind.

"Obviously, we should be happy with the transfer fee that was paid. Players want to win championships and I believe that with Gareth that is within reach."

Despite Tottenham appearing to hold all the cards over the sale of Bale, with Daniel Levy negotiating the deal up until the final days of the transfer window, Villas-Boas insists that wasn't the case.

He said: "At the end of the day, it's up to a player to decide if he wants to stay or wants to go."

The transfer saga, which Bale himself said was very frustrating and stressful, would seem to back-up the argument that the transfer window should not stay open beyond the start of a new Premier League season.

And Villas-Boas appears to be very much on the side of closing the window earlier in order to prepare for the season ahead with a complete squad, explaining: "The clubs like it as it is but the coaches are of the opinion that the market should be closed earlier.

"The coaches need time to prepare their teams for the season. Most coaches would like it to be open less time and closed earlier; obviously we will have to have further meetings."