Keeping Real Madrid sweet may force Wales to leave Gareth Bale out of some matches, says Chris Coleman

Manager concedes £86m forward may miss some international friendlies

Phil Cadden
Monday 18 November 2013 02:00
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Gareth Bale played the full 90 minutes against Finland
Gareth Bale played the full 90 minutes against Finland

Chris Coleman, the Wales manager, has conceded they will have to thrash out an agreement over the availability of Gareth Bale for future friendlies.

The world’s most expensive player completed the whole 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw with Finland in Cardiff on Saturday night.

It was Bale’s first international start since March, but Coleman admitted the £86m man may have to sit out one of three non-competitive fixture planned for either March and May before the World Cup finals next year in a bid to appease Real Madrid.

Coleman said: “There will be pressure from Madrid for him to come with us. It’s important we are not dogmatic about it. They will bite us on the backside in the end.

“For the bigger picture it might be worth us saying: ‘Just miss this one.’ It depends on when the game is. It depends on what we have got coming up and they have got coming up.

“If it’s away...if it’s at home, it’s nice for the Cardiff public to see him. The Welsh public want to see him.

“If we were away and he’d had a lot of football and he was tired, even if he was fit that could be a conversation we have.

“To be fair to him,” Coleman added, “in my two years Gareth missed Mexico because of his back, but he was there for games against Bosnia and Austria.

“He’s playing a lot of games in Madrid. We have to look at it long term as well. As much as we need him, we need to look after him as well.”

Coleman revealed he, along with Wales technical director Osian Roberts and head physiotherapist Sean Connolly will make the trip to Madrid before the end of the year to strengthen the relationship with Real.

Chris Coleman will visit Spain for talks with Real Madrid about Bale

Coleman said: “I spoke with Gareth on Friday. We are going to go over and speak with their whole staff to bring ourselves closer to Madrid. We have to build bridges. We need them with us.

“They have to know and be comfortable that when he comes with us, we know what we are doing, how we prepare because he has a special programme in Madrid regarding his rehabilitation.

“They have to feel comfortable that when he’s with us we are doing everything to send him back in one piece.

“I’ll take Sean, and Osian because they will want to see how it’s going. I’ll want to speak to Carlo [Ancelotti] and Paul Clement.

“It’s a dialogue we have to have with Madrid. If he’s fighting fit and great, we expect him to be here. He will want to play every game. If he’s fatigued, then we might rest him.

“He’s going to get a lot of extra attention and if he’s feeling fatigued or tired or mentally as much as I want him on the pitch and we need him you have to look at it and go: ‘Maybe, depending on who we are playing against in a friendly.’

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