Gareth Bale named in Wales squad

Wales boss Chris Coleman has included Gareth Bale in his squad to face Macedonia and Serbia.

Last Updated: 28/08/13 at 17:25 Post Comment

Gareth Bale: Named by Coleman in squad for World Cup qualifiers

Gareth Bale: Named by Coleman in squad for World Cup qualifiers

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Chris Coleman is praying Gareth Bale will be physically and mentally ready to play a part in Wales' World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Serbia.

Tottenham winger Bale has been at the centre of a long-running saga over his proposed world record move to Real Madrid, and Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas has said a deal could happen "very, very soon".

Coleman spent the majority of the build-up to Wales' friendly meeting with the Republic of Ireland earlier this month talking about Bale's importance to Wales, although the 24-year-old played no part due to a foot injury.

With the former Fulham boss desperate for Wales to finish third in Group A to secure an easier draw ahead of an expanded Euro 2016 tournament, Bale's star quality would be sorely missed in the upcoming double-header.

The Wales boss said: "The situation has been ongoing for some time, is he going or not?

"From our point of view, we wish it had happened by now for him to be settled.

"I don't have to say how important Gareth Bale is to us so it's a worry for us, for me that we don't know if he is staying or going.

"It's worrying not just for him physically because he has not played any football but also psychologically. It's always unsettling.

"I've been a player on the verge of a move, albeit nothing on this scale, so I know it's not easy for him.

"It would affect anyone. We're talking about a world record transfer to one of the biggest clubs on the planet so I am sure, psychologically, it is not easy for him.

"I just hope and pray we get him for these two huge games.

"As far as we're concerned he is in the squad and we expect him to be here until we are told otherwise."

If the move does go through, Coleman knows it will be important to establish a positive relationship with Real boss Carlo Ancelotti in order to be sure of Bale's availability for international duty.

"Perhaps it's up to me to go out there, sit down with them and introduce ourselves," he said.

"They have to know how important Gareth is to us. They could be forgiven for thinking Wales is a small football nation, a small country, but it will be up to me to explain the importance of Gareth and of Welsh football.

"We have to make sure we have a good relationship for the future, if he goes there.

"It doesn't affect Cristiano Ronaldo. He is still given the courtesy of playing every game for Portugal and I would expect Gareth to be shown that as well."

Coleman also included Joe Allen, Aaron Ramsey and Neil Taylor in his squad, despite the trio carrying injuries.

Swansea left-back Taylor looks particularly unlikely to be involved after his club confirmed he is set to be sidelined for four to six weeks with a thigh injury.

Coleman, who has got engaged to Sky Sports News' Charlotte Jackson, also confirmed he is very close to agreeing a contract extension, having held talks with the Football Association of Wales over the last few months.

He took the job in 2012 following the death of Gary Speed, and his existing deal runs through to the summer of 2014.

Coleman told Sky Sports News: "It's been very positive. I would expect we would come to a conclusion very, very soon.

"I don't really see there'll be too much more of a delay, we're practically there really.

"I've been very happy with the way it's gone and I'll be delighted to pledge my future to Wales and have another crack of the whip."

Wales squad for World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Serbia: Hennessey (Wolves), Myhill (West Brom), Fon Williams (Tranmere), Davies (Swansea), Eardley (Birmingham), Gabbidon (Palace), Gunter (Reading), Matthews (Celtic), Ricketts (Wolves), Taylor (Swansea), A Williams (Swansea), Allen (Liverpool), Collison (West Ham), King (Leicester), Ledley (Celtic), Ramsey (Arsenal), Crofts (Birmingham), J Williams (Palace), Bale (Tottenham), Bellamy (Cardiff), Church (Charlton), Robson-Kanu (Reading), Vokes (Burnley).


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Regarding Bale, who has not played in any of Tottenham's matches this season and failed to report for training with Spurs both on Tuesday and Wednesday, Coleman told Sky Sports News: "Unless he's physically unavailable then he's available.

"Of course we've got the saga of if he's going to move from Tottenham or is he going to stay, we know that's going on and that's not easy for Gareth or Tottenham.

"As far as we're concerned, unless we're told he's unavailable then he's very much in our plans.

"Sometimes when players have a rest and they've not played a lot of football, maybe they won't last the 90 minutes, but sometimes there's a freshness about them and that rest does them good physically.

"The difference with Gareth is that mentally there's a lot been going on, but if we can have him then of course it's a boost for us.

"It's not been easy for him, there's a lot of pressure on him. But he's the type of lad that is very unassuming, he has a calm personality, he's very grounded. I would imagine he wants it concluded like everybody does."

Meanwhile, in terms of his own future, Coleman is confident of signing a new deal with the Welsh Football Association soon.

He said: "It's been very positive. I would expect we would come to a conclusion very, very soon.

"I don't really see there'll be too much more of a delay, we're practically there really.

"I've been very happy with the way it's gone and I'll be delighted to pledge my future to Wales and have another crack at the whip."

Coleman, appointed in 2012, is currently on a contract as Wales boss that runs out in 2014.

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