Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has put an end to speculations linking star midfielder Rafael van der Vaart with a summer exit from White Hart Lane.
The Dutch playmaker was heavily linked with a return to Bundesliga, with his former club Hamburger and Schalke admitting interest in the player.
However, Andre Villas-Boas has now explained in no uncertain terms that he is counting on Van der Vaart for the upcoming season.
“With Van der Vaart, at the moment I am absolutely counting on him,” Villas-Boas told The Sunday Telegraph.
“It’s a totally different situation from Luka, who has been chased by different clubs in the past two seasons and is continuing to draw interest.
“We have to make sure the club’s interests are met, and it’s up to the chairman to decide that.”
After two straight fourth-place finishes, the Portuguese manager believes Spurs have what it takes to enter the title race.
“Harry said last year that Tottenham could go on to win the title, and we have to take that on if we want to go forward as a club.
“That is basically the challenge I have put to the players, although it is not a challenge the chairman has put on to me.”