Sparky: It's too early to Bale out to Barca, Gaz.FORMER Wales boss Mark Hughes This article is about the Welsh footballer. For other people with the same name, see Mark Hughes (disambiguation).
Leslie Mark Hughes OBE (born November 1, 1963 in Ruabon, Wrexham, Wales), nicknamed Sparky has urged Tottenham winger Gareth Bale Gareth Frank Bale (born July 16, 1989) is a Welsh football player, currently playing for Tottenham Hotspur.
In December 2006 he won the Carwyn James Award for the BBC Wales Young Sports Personality of the Year  Schooldays to remain at the north London club for a few more years before deciding on whether he wants to play football on the continent.
Rumours have resurfaced that the Welsh 22-year-old (pictured below) is attracting the interest of European giants Barcelona, but former Barca player Hughes, whose QPR QPR Queens Park Rangers (football club)
QPR Quarterly Progress Report
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QPR Question, Persuade, Refer (suicide prevention program) side beat Spurs 1-0 last night to boost their bid to stay out of the Premier League relegation zone, believes his compatriot com·pa·tri·ot
1. A person from one's own country.
2. A colleague.
[French compatriote, from Late Latin compatri should stay put.
"He is still a young man - I think he still has a lot to achieve in the Premier League and I'm sure he is enjoying his football and his life in the Premiership. He has a huge profile and has no reason to go so young," he said.
"He is playing at a good club that are challenging for honours. I think when he is asked the question he answers it honestly and says that in the future that is what he might like to do, but I don't think he is anticipating moving any time soon."
Hughes joined Barcelona from Manchester United in 1986 at 22 and says he was too young to make an impact at the Nou Camp and left the following year before returning to Old Trafford.
"I went when I was young and it was probably a little bit too soon for me," he said. "Ideally if I had had the opportunity later I would have been more successful than I was. I think there is time for Gareth in the future if he thinks that is what he wants to do.
"I went when I wasn't married and didn't have any children and my life wasn't as settled as it would have been at 26, 27, 28 and that always helps when you have that support."
Although he never worked with Bale whilst in charge of Wales, Hughes is a big admirer of his abilities and knows his QPR players have a job on their hands keeping him quiet.
He said: "You have just got to stop him in possession and stop the ball getting to him.
"When he does get it you have hopefully got to force him down a blind alley and not let him have the affect that his ability can have on a game. It is difficult to do but we will endeavour to do that.
"He is very difficult to contain if he is in a run of form where everything is flowing for him. We will have to work hard to restrict his opportunities because when he does get them, he invariably in·var·i·a·ble
Not changing or subject to change; constant.
in·vari·a·bil creates chances or takes them."