Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Transfer news: Gareth Bale to sit out Tottenham friendly as Real Madrid plan talks breakthrough


Tottenham Hotspur are preparing to be without Gareth Bale for their final friendly of the summer against Espanyol at White Hart Lane, as the club awaits a decisive move from Real Madrid in the saga surrounding the Welshman’s future.

Bale, 24, is expected to miss Saturday’s game, with his glute injury to be cited as the reason. Madrid are now in Miami for their game against Chelsea tomorrow and the club hope that they can meet with Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, to agree a deal for the forward there.

As it stands, there are no immediate plans for Bale to put in a transfer request and try to force the club into a decision. Both the player’s camp and Madrid are hopeful of a resolution that will not require them to go that far. Although the Madrid policy has been to talk up Bale, either through their squad or the likes of former player, and now assistant, Zinedine Zidane, there was less than effusive praise for the club’s latest target from Cristiano Ronaldo yesterday. Ronaldo  said: “I’m not the right person to say if you [Bale] deserve that money or if it is a good deal or not. I am happy here and the players I have beside me are great  – I’m not going to speak about the other players, sorry.”

Spurs have announced the signing of Roberto Soldado for £26m from Valencia after he passed his medical. The striker is the club’s most expensive signing and is likely to make his debut at White Hart Lane on Saturday.