Gareth Bale missed Tottenham's pre-season friendly loss to Sunderland in midweek.
Like a dog with a bone, Spanish newspaper Marca will not let it go.
Described by many as Real Madrid's mouthpiece, the publication has been claiming all week that Gareth Bale is keen on a switch to the club.
These reports were picked up on by The Sun earlier today, and then repeated by The Telegraph and The Mirror to name a few.
Personally, I would be surprised if it is true.
It is being repeated almost as fact by the press, but really it is anything but - with 'quotes' attributed to Bale which are indirect to say the least.
Being generous, it could be suggested that his agent - who has been in touch with Madrid all summer - is feeding Marca what they want to know.
If that were the case, it certainly makes one of their claims this week quite interesting.
Bale missed Tottenham's pre-season loss to Sunderland in midweek, with initial conspiracy theories quashed by Spurs, with the official line that he had picked up a knock in training and was wisely being rested as a precaution.
But predictably perhaps, according to Marca, that is being insinuated to simply be a cover story.
"You can make up your own mind as to whether it's a coincidence, but amidst all the speculation, the Tottenham star has been declared unfit to face Sunderland in Hong Kong on Wednesday. Indeed, ever since he met with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy mid-last week to tell him he wanted to leave, he has yet to see a minute's action.
"During this three-day period, Bale had showdown talks with the chairman and proceeded to suffer an injury that, despite being just a "knock", is set to keep him out over a week and until at least 27th July, when Spurs plays the last game of its Asian tour. Mysterious, to say the least.
"Bale's agent, meanwhile, has already informed Real Madrid that his client is raring to move to the Bernabéu, provided an agreement can be reached with Tottenham."
It's likely the paper are clutching at straws for a theory to back up their case. But if they do have an inside track with Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett, who knows there could be an inkling of truth to it. That or a genuine injury is simply being twisted to suit their agenda.
Let us know what you think?
image: © Jan S0L0