Gareth Bale, with much speculation over his prospective world-record transfer to Real Madrid this summer, will play no part in Tottenham’s first match of the Premier League season at Crystal Palace on Sunday, his manager Andre Villas-Boas has revealed.
When asked if Bale would be in the squad for Sunday’s league opener at Selhurst Park, Villas-Boas told Sky Sports News: "No, because he's been out injured for most of the pre-season.
"He's been complaining with a pain in the foot. The most natural thing is for him is not to be involved against Palace."
Bale has made it clear he wants to leave Spurs for the Spanish capital, albeit not publicly, and the north London club's chairman Daniel Levy is said to be demanding a fee in excess of the £80million that Real paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo four years ago.
The forward played no part of Wales’ 0-0 draw with the Republic of Ireland last night because of the injury, and watched from the sidelines.
Bale has made two appearances for Spurs during this summer’s pre-season, opening the scoring in the 1-1 draw at Swindon on 16 July and also scoring in the 3-2 behind- closed-doors friendly win over Brentford on 14 July. He did travel with the club on their tour of Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, an editorial in Spanish newspaper AS, has questioned the Bale transfer, labelling it as more of an “economic choice than a sporting choice”.
“It isn't clear this team needs a new recruit like this," the Madrid-based sports newspaper said in an editorial this week.
"One thing Bale has, apart from his quality, is that he fits in well with (president) Florentino (Perez)'s 'economic-sporting' project.
"In this sense, the more expensive the better because it will make more noise, more of an uproar, more 'marketing'. It is more an economic choice than a sporting choice.
"The objective shouldn't be to be the richest club in the world, but to be one that wins titles."