Loyalty to Spurs made me snub Europe, says Villas-Boas

LONDON Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:56pm BST

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas celebrates after Clint Dempsey scored against Stoke City during their English Premier League soccer match at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, central England, May 12, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas celebrates after Clint Dempsey scored against Stoke City during their English Premier League soccer match at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, central England, May 12, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

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LONDON (Reuters) - Andre Villas-Boas turned down the chance to move to Europe in the close season because he wanted to build on a strong first campaign at White Hart Lane, said the Tottenham Hotspur manager.

The club gave Villas-Boas a Premier League lifeline after he was sacked less than nine months into his reign at Chelsea, helping Spurs to a record points haul and just missing out on a Champions League place.

His efforts attracted attention in Europe with Ligue 1 champions Paris St Germain, among others, reported by the media to have approached the Portuguese when searching for a replacement for Carlo Ancelotti after he went to Real Madrid.

"(It was) my first opportunity to start a second year in the same club," Villas-Boas told reporters at a Premier League function.

"I think that can give me an advantage and is something I want to try. I have been very welcomed, I have an excellent group of players and the conditions and structures we have at Tottenham are fantastic.

"The arrival of (sporting director) Franco (Baldini) takes us to another level so these are things I had to measure," added Villas-Boas.

"I have great respect for the club and for (chairman) Daniel (Levy) and these are the reasons the couple of clubs that came knocking I told them I wasn't interested."

BALE UNCERTAINTY

Despite the uncertainty surrounding winger Gareth Bale, who will miss Tottenham's opening league match against Crystal Palace on Sunday, Villas-Boas has managed to strengthen his squad significantly.

However, none of the arrivals - Brazil midfielder Paulinho from Corinthians, Spain striker Roberto Soldado from Valencia, Nacer Chadli from Twente Enschede and most recently Etienne Capoue from Toulouse - is English.

The club have sold Steven Caulker to Cardiff City and Tom Huddlestone to Hull City, both of whom have played for England.

"There is one problem with English players in the Premier League, it's the price," Villas-Boas said.

"This is something that has been happening on another level with Chelsea and Manchester United and Wayne Rooney. I think players in England cost you a lot more than what you can get out of Europe.

"Particularly in the case of Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue so at the moment it is a market we have been looking at.

"The other two (Soldado and Paulinho) are renowned internationals that we had to pay a very high price for but I think it is the right price for players of that level," said Villas-Boas.

"Eventually if a good deal at the right price for an English player arises I wouldn't have any problem with that."

($1 = 0.6436 British pounds)

(Reporting by Josh Reich, editing by Tony Goodson)

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