Andre Villas-Boas has said that Gareth Bale will miss Tottenham Hotspur’s season opener against Crystal Palace this Saturday as speculation around the Welshman’s future continues.
Real Madrid’s attempt to bring Bale to the Bernabeu has rumbled on for over a month with little progress and has been marked by the player’s absence from Spurs’ preseason preparations.
When asked if Bale would feature against Palace this weekend, Villas-Boas was straight forward: “No, because he’s been out injured for most of pre-season.
“He was involved in the games against Brentford and Swindon but not any others, for different reasons; he pulled a muscle in his gluteus that prevented him from being involved for two weeks and he’s been complaining of pain in the foot. I think the most natural thing is to see him not involved against Palace.”
Madrid’s public courting of Bale and contact with his representative Jonathan Barnett have lead to the player maintaining that he is not fit to train or play with the squad though it appears that the main reason for Bale’s absence is that he fears picking up a knock or aggravating any strains that could jeopardise the move that he has informed Spurs he wants.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy though has not accepted Madrid’s offer which the Spanish side believe to be worth in excess of £80million when the value of players Fabio Coentrao and Angel Di Maria are factored in.
Levy and Villas-Boas would prefer to keep Bale for another season as they did with Luka Modric when he was determined to force through a move to Chelsea but it had not been thought that Bale would react in a similarly disruptive fashion to the Croatian.
With the transfer window open until September 2nd in which time Spurs will play Palace, Swansea City and Arsenal, the lack of resolution to the issue will grow ever more pressing as the Londoners will need to secure a replacement for the winger should he depart.
On that end the club are said to be interested in Roma’s Erik Lamela and Anzhi Makhachkala’s Willian as possible purchases who may offset the departure of Bale who netted 26 times for Spurs during last season which saw the 24 year old hailed as one of the best footballers in the world.
Bale sat out yesterday’s goalless draw between Wales and the Republic of Ireland but he was seen training on his own in the lead up to the international friendly sparking rumours that he was refusing to train with Spurs in order to put pressure on the club to sell.