English Premiership

Bale mum over Real reports

2013-08-13 18:03
Gareth Bale (AFP)

London -Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale has refused to comment after being quizzed by reporters over speculation linking him with a record-breaking transfer to Real Madrid.

The 24-year-old is reportedly on the brink of a move to the nine-time champions for a fee that could eclipse the £80 million that Madrid paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.

Several Spanish television crews and photographers watched Bale train with Wales in Newport on Monday, but when asked to speak about the reports, he replied: "I'm really sorry, now's not the time to talk."

Bale has not played for Spurs for over a month due to buttock and foot injuries and has been ruled out of Wales' friendly against the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday due to his foot problem.

However, he is expected to attend the match at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Wales manager Chris Coleman dismissed suggestions that the media excitement sparked by Bale had been a distraction in the build-up to the game.

"We've had a few more people here than usual. At training there were a lot of people there -- I thought we'd arrived at the wrong venue," he told a news conference on Tuesday.

"There was all the hype surrounding Gareth and whether he will move or not, so there were a lot of people there who would not normally be there.

"But we have just got on with our work. We have to concentrate and he trained alone anyway, so we just got on with our own preparations."

Coleman also said that the decision that Bale would not play against Ireland was made by Wales and not Tottenham.

"Looking at his history over the last two or three weeks, his workload has not been good at all. So for him to go into an international against a tough team like Ireland would be dangerous," Coleman said.

"We respect Tottenham and have a good relationship with them and we decided before he got here that it was too much of a risk. We are not here to get in the way but if he had a chance of playing tomorrow (Wednesday), he would have played.

"It would not have been in the back of my mind -- if he had played and anything happened -- that he was on the verge of a big move. My job is to win games with Wales.

"I haven't thought twice about his move. He is not playing because physically he is not ready, not because he is not mentally ready."

Read more on:    real madrid  |  gareth bale  |  soccer

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