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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Aug 11, 2013

Villas-Boas plays down Bale talk

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas refused to add further weight to speculation Gareth Bale could leave White Hart Lane this summer and has admitted the winger is unlikely to play in Spurs' Premier League opener, despite being named for Wales' upcoming friendly.

Gareth Bale has been in devastating form for Tottenham
Bale has been selected for Wales' friendly against Ireland.

Sources close to Real Madrid told ESPN on Friday that the Spanish club believe they are close to signing Bale, but Tottenham have been reluctant to comment on the rumours.

The Welshman missed Spurs' 1-1 draw with Espanyol on Saturday and following the match, Villas-Boas fended off questions about Bale's future.

"The only thing I can say about the stories is I am not going to comment because everybody has speculated a lot," he said. "There are some different stories, some which are not true, with people inventing without knowledge of what is going on. 

"The only thing I can tell you is the player is under the treatment of the medical department for this pain in the foot which is disturbing him... Regarding the speculation, I don't want to extend myself further than I have told you."

Despite the niggling injury, Bale has been selected for Wales' friendly against the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday, although Villas-Boas is not confident the 24-year-old's fitness will improve ahead of next weekend's season opener against Crystal Palace.

"He has been called up for his national team, our medical department is going to be in contact with the Wales medical department to make sure they have everything available in terms of giving information on how the player has been doing in these last weeks," Villas-Boas added.

"The only thing we can do is make information available to the Welsh FA. If he gets to a fixture available to play it is because he hasn't felt pain. He is training on his own so there is a possibility he makes a recovery.

"If we manager to recover the player, but obviously he is far far off fitness regarding what the others have done. It is three weeks since he played for Tottenham so I wouldn't expect him to play for us [against Palace]."

Villas-Boas also denied the conjecture surrounding Bale has provided a distraction for Tottenham and insists the club will continue to bolster their squad regardless of whether the winger stays or goes.

"It has not affected us in any shape or form. We have continued our preparation," said Villas-Boas. "What we have to recognise is five weeks gone by since (we started) buying and selling, but we haven't been able to train with all the team together because Paulinho and Soldado only arrived last week.

"There will be more players to arrive and more players to leave. At the moment we are a team in prospect. We still have lots of things to do. The last week in the transfer window can be surprising.

"I can't tell you we have stopped in the transfer market because we haven't, this means players coming in and players going out. We will continue to re-strengthen ourselves, but what we have at the moment is a very strong squad either way, one that puts us in a good position to get the three points at Palace."

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