Transfer news: Gareth Bale will calm fears he may go AWOL to force Real Madrid switch when he returns for training on Tuesday
Spurs' squad had been given Monday off but Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett dismisses reports in Spain that Bale will miss training after claiming he never spoke to them
Gareth Bale calmed nerves at White Hart Lane on Monday after reports he could refuse to attend training tomorrow in order to force through a transfer to Real Madrid.
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas had given the squad an extra day of rest following their 5-3 pre-season defeat at Monaco on Saturday, but fears had emerged that Bale would go AWOL after comments from the Portuguese manager made in the principality.
Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett was quoted in Spanish newspaper AS claiming that his client may not attend training after Villas-Boas claimed he would not be leaving, but the Evening Standard understand that he will attend training tomorrow, and was actually at the training ground today for treatment on a foot injury.
Barnett had been quoted as saying: “Bale is very upset with [manager Andre] Villas-Boas for what he said in Monaco [that the player is going nowhere] and is considering not even going to training this week because right now he is very upset.”
However, when contacted this morning, Barnett did deny speaking to the Spanish paper. However, he refused to guarantee that Bale would report for training tomorrow.
Bale hasn’t played for Spurs since a pre-season friendly against Swindon on July 16 having also suffered a strained buttock last month.
It would be a surprise if Bale decided to take such the extraordinary step to snub training because he has not missed a day of pre-season so far, even though he has not been able to play with the rest of his team-mates in the past fortnight.
Bale did not travel to Monaco and has been reportedly left “unhappy and disappointed” by comments made by Villas-Boas after the club’s 5-2 defeat in France denying that the player’s switch to the Bernabeu is imminent.
The 24-year-old forward, who spent the weekend with his family in Wales, withdrew from the Monaco game because of the foot problem, although it is believed he pulled out for fear of sustaining a serious injury which would put a move to Madrid in doubt.
While he told club officials during the Barclays Asia trophy in Hong Kong at the end of last month that he wanted to move to Madrid, he doesn’t want to hand in an official transfer request either.
Talks between Spurs owner Joe Lewis and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez over a transfer are believed to have already taken place.
A meeting with chairman Daniel Levy is also expected in the next 48 hours, as Madrid travel to where he is holidaying in Miami to play Chelsea in the final of the International Champions Cup.
Levy still wants to keep Bale and hopes the asking price of £100m in one cash instalment will prove too hard for Madrid to match. The Spanish giants want to pay the fee in five instalments and also want to use a player in part exchange but Spurs are not interested in Fabio Coentrao or Angel Di Maria.
Former Wales manager Mark Hughes has warned Bale not to move to Spain unless he’s sure he can cope with the pressure.
Hughes moved to Barcelona from Manchester United in 1986 but lasted just one season before being loaned out to Bayern Munich. The new Stoke boss said: “It’s a huge opportunity, you have to be strong enough mentally in being able to deal with everything that a move abroad entails.
“You’ve got to be sure in your own mind that it’s the right decision for you, your family and your football career first and foremost.
“I was probably a little bit too young. I was 23 but in terms of my life experience and my football experience I was even younger than that. That’s one of the reasons that I struggled out there — it was a big step and at the time there was a lot of speculation about my future. At times I probably felt I was railroaded into it somewhat.”
Meanwhile, Clint Dempsey admits his move to MLS side Seattle Sounders took him by surprise.
He said: “Going into the season, I thought I was going to be at Tottenham but MLS and the Seattle Sounders, they moved mountains to get me here.”
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