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Injured Bale out until Sept, says Villas-Boas

By Reuters in London | China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-17 08:32

Injured Bale out until Sept, says Villas-Boas

Gareth Bale. Rebecca Naden/Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur forward Gareth Bale will be sidelined until September with the foot injury that has kept the Real Madrid target out of the Premier League club's preseason buildup, said manager Andre Villas-Boas.

The absence until next month of Wales international Bale, the subject of a world record bid of reportedly more than 85 million pounds ($132.2 million) from Real, means he could have played his last game for Spurs if he joins Madrid.

Villas-Boas said the 24-year-old will not be fit until the league game at north London rival Arsenal, which is scheduled to be played the day before the transfer window closes on Sept 2.

Bale will miss Tottenham's Premier League opener at promoted Crystal Palace on Sunday, the Europa League playoff first leg away to Georgian side Dinamo Tbilisi on Thursday and its first home league match of the season against Swansea City on Aug 25.

"For the games against Palace, Tbilisi and Swansea, he will not be in line to threaten to come back," Villas-Boas was quoted as saying by British media on Friday.

Bale has not played since scoring in Tottenham's opening preseason friendly at Swindon Town on July 16. Since then he has suffered a hamstring injury and now a foot problem.

He joined the Wales squad for its international friendly against Ireland on Wednesday but was not fit to play.

"We will have to see how he returns from Wales and assess if the pain in his foot has stopped troubling his progress to return into first-team training," said Villas-Boas.

"Obviously he is very far off regarding his fitness compared to the others, so it will take some time to bring him back to the level that the others are after six weeks."

Regarding a move to Madrid, the Portuguese said "ideally" England's Footballer of the Year, who was the third top scorer in the league last season with 21 goals, would stay at Spurs.

"Our idea is to count on Gareth. I have told you lots and lots of times," Villas-Boas was quoted as saying in The Independent.

"Speculation has arisen with the player because of the quality that he has and the season that he had, the amazing moments of individual brilliance.

"Ideally, we would like the player to continue belonging to Tottenham. We are aware that Real Madrid are interested. It doesn't mean that we are willing to negotiate."

"We explain to the clubs that have asked for him that the player is our player."

Asked how Bale was feeling amid the speculation, he said: "His mental state nobody knows because the player doesn't speak. The only thing that we are able to see - or you are able to see - is the player arriving in and out of the training ground."

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