Date:Tuesday January 16 2007
Burley - 'Gareth is a great asset to us and he is concentrating fully on the job`
Despite all the transfer speculation linking Bale with a move away from Southampton, Saints boss George Burley has taken time to praise how professional Bale has been and how focused on saints he has become
He said: 'There's no doubt that all the talk affected him for a few days last week but he seems fine now and is totally focused on trying to get the club promoted this season.
'As I have said before, Gareth is very happy and I have spoken to his parents and he is concentrated purely on this season.
'Gareth is a great asset to us and he is concentrating fully on the job. There's no doubt it's hard for him and I felt I had to have a little chat with him last week and he was a little bit worried but he seems settled and happy again now and he performed well at the weekend.
'He's got a very mature head on his shoulders.'
Bale has been continuously linked with a move to Manchester United and before that he has been linked with Tottenham, Liverpool and even Real Madrid.
But we are now half way though the January transfer window and although it is thought that saints turned down two bids early on in the month from Man United and Spurs, Bale remains a Saint`s player.
As we reported earlier on here on Vital Southampton, Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson was supposedly reported as saying 'We're still working on them deals for Bale and Owen Hargreaves but don't hold your breath. I much prefer newcomers to have the benefit of pre-season training.'
The above Ferguson quote does add to the pool of thought that is saying that Bale will stay until the summer before making his transfer to Manchester United.
But the fact that Burley has taken time to praise Bale for being professional and focused is defiantly promising and hopefully Bale will stay at Saint's untill at least the summer and continue to be a key part in saints promotion push back to the Premiership.
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