Van der Vaart: Spurs stars must stay

Tottenham midfielder Rafael van der Vaart is desperate for the club to retain the services of Luka Modric and Gareth Bale.The Spurs duo have been highly sought after by English Premier League clubs, with Croatia international Modric the subject of a bid from London rivals Chelsea, while Welsh wonder-kid Bale is a Manchester United target.

But van der Vaart, who enjoyed a stellar campaign at White Hart Lane after moving from Real Madrid last season, believes Spurs must rebuff their rivals’ offers if they are to improve on last season’s fifth-place finish and regain a place in the Champions League.

“As a player you want to improve every year but the important thing is to help the team. If we stay together we have a good squad,” the Dutchman said.

“If someone wants to leave it’s difficult to keep them. When a player is unhappy it’s not a good thing.”

Van der Vart also insisted that Modric and Bale are motivated by the desire to win silverware rather than the lucrative offers being tabled for their services.

“Luka and Bale don’t play for money – they play to win something. If they have to go to another club it’s their decision.”

“But I hope they stay because they are fantastic and really important for the club.”

“Drop too many points and you don’t deserve to be in the Champions League. So next season we are going to focus on the Europa League.”