AVB: Bale to miss season opener
Gareth Bale will not be involved in Tottenham's start to the Premier League season, manager Andre Villas-Boas has announced.
The Welshman's future has been the subject of much speculation throughout the summer, with Bale closely linked with a world record move to Real Madrid.
The 24-year-old sat out Wales' goalless draw against the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday night with a foot injury and manager Chris Coleman admitted questions over Bale's future had dominated the build-up to the game.
Spurs open their new campaign at newly promoted Crystal Palace on Sunday before they take on Dinamo Tbilisi in the Europa League the following Thursday.
When asked if Bale would feature at Selhurst Park on Sunday, Villas-Boas told Sky Sports News: "No, because he's been out injured for most of pre-season.
"He was involved in the games against Brentford and Swindon but not any others, for different reasons; he pulled a muscle in his gluteus that prevented him from being involved for two weeks and he's been complaining of pain in the foot.
"I think the most natural thing is to see him not involved against Palace."
Real have maintained a constant public campaign to try to woo Bale this summer, with a number of senior players admitting they would love the Tottenham forward to join them at the Bernabeu.
Tottenham and Real have yet to come to an agreement over the transfer of Bale despite weeks of speculation that the 24-year-old is set to move to the nine-time European champions.
Bale has reportedly made it clear he wants to leave Spurs for the Spanish capital, but 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 saga is set to continue with the transfer window open until Monday, September 2.