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Bale out of Tottenham opener

Gareth Bale will not feature in Tottenham's Premier League opener against Crystal Palace this weekend, manager Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed.

Last Updated: 18/08/13 at 11:31 Post Comment

The saga of Bale's proposed world-record move to Real Madrid - one Spurs are determined to resist - continues to cast shadows over preparations for the new campaign.

Bale has not played since the middle of July due to a reported gluteal injury that has been followed by a foot problem.

He watched Wales' friendly against the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday from the stands and Villas-Boas has now admitted the 24-year-old will sit out Sunday's curtain-raiser against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

"No, because he's been out injured for most of pre-season," Villas-Boas said at the Premier League 2013-14 season launch, when asked if Bale was involved in his plans for the start of the new term.

"He was involved in the games against Brentford and Swindon but not any others, for different reasons; 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.

Bale's future at White Hart Lane could remain uncertain until the transfer window closes on 2 September but Villas-Boas admitted he was desperate to retain a player "cherished" by the club.

"We've been very, very clear with everybody regarding the player and our willingness to hold on to him.

"Obviously in football anything can happen in the end but this is a player we cherish a lot and has helped us progress and ideally we want to continue with him."

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Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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