The Wales international is in the process of completing a world-record transfer to Real Madrid and did not show up for training this week.
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed in the press that Gareth Bale’s move to Real Madrid will happen before the end of the transfer window, with some of the finer details on a world-record deal to be sorted out with the Spanish giants.
If and when confirmation is made that the Wales international will switch to the Santiago Bernabeu, it will end summer-long speculation over the player’s future. The will-he, won’t he nature of the deal has been a frustration for the Spurs fans, but seemingly also for the player as he declined to turn up for team training in the meantime earlier this week.
It is thought that Bale is frustrated by the north London club’s delaying of his deal, largely to ensure that a replacement is signed – in the form of Roma’s Erik Lamela. With the Italian side stating that the Argentine is all-but a Spurs player, Bale’s deal is likely to be concluded soon.
Villas-Boas has stated that he is annoyed by Bale’s decision not to turn up for Spurs training while his transfer was being confirmed, and admits that there is a chance that the attacker could be fined for his actions.
"I am a Spurs professional, not a Spurs fan, so you may have to have ask a Spurs fan what are their opinions about the situation," said Villas-Boas
"It's very difficult. In the end, you know, difficult. I don't know. It's up to Gareth. He has a good relationship with everybody and he has saluted the players the other day, myself included.
"Is he on strike? No, I don't think he's on strike. Will he be in tomorrow? I don't know. I'm not really in control of the situation. I've left it up to the club to decide what they want to do.
“Until the transfer happens, the player is a Tottenham player. If there are orders for him to be here and he is not, I can only leave it to club officials to deal with it.
“It's up to the club to decide whether or not it's a breach of club rules. I've given my opinion on it. It's up to them to decide whether they act on it or not."
Most Tottenham fans will understand Bale’s desire to move to Real Madrid – the chance to play for arguably the most historic club in the world and step out in the Champions League alongside some of the world’s best players. The White Hart Lane faithful will not begrudge Bale the move, but his actions have the ability to sour his legacy at Tottenham.
What Bale has to understand is that Daniel Levy is not delaying the deal to frustrate Real Madrid or to throw a spanner in the works – he is doing it for Tottenham’s benefit.
With a world record transfer fee set to be paid, it will have been difficult for the Spurs chairman to negotiate for potential replacements, as other clubs hike their prices up.
Bale has obviously panicked that it is late in the transfer window and his deal still hasn’t happened, but he should have known better than to miss training. Up until then his silence showed Spurs respect – his latest action has marred his behaviour during the saga.
Spurs have every right to fine him, but hopefully the club will forget about the misdemeanour, take the higher ground and wish Bale well in his journey in Spain.
image: © James Boyes