Bale flattered by Barcelona speculation

Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale is flattered by speculation linking him with a move to European champions Barcelona, and insists the London club have a great chance of returning to the Champions League.

Bale shot to stardom with a string of highly impressive displays in last season's competition, scoring four goals in 11 matches as Spurs defied expectations by reaching the quarter-finals.

"It's always nice being linked with clubs such as Barcelona - it's great to be linked with a team like that," the 22-year-old was reported to have said in The Sun.

"I'm enjoying my football at Spurs and I don't really take much notice of what is written about interest from other clubs."

And Bale has underlined his desire to help Spurs return to playing in Europe's elite competition.

"The Champions League is obviously where I want to be playing. We've got a great chance of qualifying this season, especially with the manager playing young players in the Europa League and giving us the freshness to play in the Premier League," he said.

"We've had a great start to the season. The main thing we want to achieve is the top four - anything above that is obviously a bonus.

"The main thing is to get back in the Champions League because that's where we want to get back to."

Bale has started this season in sparkling form, scoring five times in 11 first team outings in all competitions.