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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 February 2007, 13:52 GMT
Burley glad 'circus' has moved on
By John May

Southampton boss George Burley
Burley said Bale would stay at Saints until the end of the season
Southampton boss George Burley admitted he is relieved the "circus" surrounding Gareth Bale is over for the time being with the close of the transfer window.

Bale, 17, opted to stay with Saints despite bids of up to 10m from Tottenham and Manchester United.

Burley said: "It will help Gareth now the transfer window is closed, it was a bit of a circus for the boy.

"Every time he picked up a newspaper, or turned on the television or radio, his name would be mentioned."

Burley refused to comment on speculation that Bale had turned down a move to Tottenham, after Saints had accepted Spurs 10m bid, to hold out for a summer move to Manchester United.

Saints took the unusual step of issuing a statement before Wednesday's game against Sheffield Wednesday, confirming that Bale would be staying at the club until the end of the season.

There was never any question of him leaving

Saints boss George Burley

The statement admitted Saints had received bids from both Spurs and United, but insisted that it was made clear that any deal would have to include a loan-back provision for all the remaining 18 months of Bale's current Saints contract.

Burley said: "I don't get involved in commenting on individual clubs.

"You never see me comment in the media on any players I might be looking at, and I don't comment on any bids that might be received for our players.

"I said from day one that Gareth would be here until the end of the season, and he will be.

"He was always going to be here until the end of the season, no matter what. There was never any question of him leaving, so there's nothing really to say on any speculation."

Bale opts to stay at Southampton
31 Jan 07 |  Football
Spurs lead Bale chase - Ferguson
27 Jan 07 |  Man Utd


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