Friday 15 December 2017

Spurs could fine Bale for no-shows as AVB appears to admit defeat

Tottenham Hotspur's manager Andre Villas Boas and Gareth Bale.
Tottenham Hotspur's manager Andre Villas Boas and Gareth Bale.

Paul Hirst

Tottenham will consider fining Gareth Bale after he did not show up for training for two consecutive days, manager Andre Villas-Boas has said.

Bale has his heart set on a move to Real Madrid and he has been absent from Tottenham's training ground both yesterday and today.

Villas-Boas said: "He is involved in a big transfer move to Real Madrid and in the end if it happens, we wish him all the best, but the fact that he hasn't turned up is not the correct behaviour...

"That is the position they chose to take and it's up to the club to decide if it's a fineable offence."

Villas-Boas confirmed that Bale is close to sealing a world-record move to Madrid.

"It could happen very, very soon," the Portuguese said.

PFA rules state a player can be fined two weeks' wages so Bale could be hit with a bill of over £200,000 for his two no-shows.

After two months of stonewalling answers about Bale, Villas-Boas now appears resigned to the fact that he has lost the man who scored 26 goals for him last season.

"At the moment the two clubs are speaking - Tottenham and Real Madrid - to outline the final decisions or statements of contracts," Villas-Boas said with a look of resignation in his face.

"I am not sure how much time it will take. It could happen very, very soon.

"But it might not happen so soon so I suppose it could go to the last days or it could happen in the next two days."

Villas-Boas has remained calm throughout the two-month transfer saga, but today it was clear that the Tottenham manager has become fed up with the whole affair.

Bale is unlikely to report to the club's training ground again having already said his goodbyes to Villas-Boas and the Spurs team last Friday.

"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," the Spurs boss said.

"It's up to Gareth (whether he wants to come back again). He has a good relationship with everybody and he has saluted the players the other day, myself included."

Villas-Boas looked fed up throughout the press conference, and there is a clear feeling that he cannot wait for the transfer window to shut.

Several Real Madrid players, and their manager Carlo Ancelotti, have spoken publicly about Bale even though he is not on their books yet, and the club have seemingly erected a stage to present the player at the Bernabeu.

Daniel Levy has become annoyed at Real's tactics throughout the saga and that appears to be the same with Villas-Boas.

"I cannot comment on actions that another club has taken, I showed my disappointment before and I think Carlo did extremely well because he didn't speak about Gareth again after the first time," Villas-Boas said.

"Whether it's responsible or irresponsible, I don't care."

Tottenham have been strongly linked with Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen and Vlad Chiriches over the last week.

But it seems even more new additions could arrive at White Hart Lane as well.

"I have told you that we will continue re-strengthening the squad so we are looking at different positions to make us stronger. Not only those players, others as well," he said.

"In the next couple of days we will have further news and I think we will see further additions at Tottenham."

Tottenham did enquire about the possibility of signing Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata, but Villas-Boas concedes there is no chance that the Blues will offload one of their star players to a rival club.

"First, Chelsea wouldn't sell to Tottenham in any way or form, as they think that we are title contenders," said Villas-Boas, who saw main target Willian choose Chelsea over Spurs last week.

"Mata is a great, great player - player of the season last season - very, very important player for Chelsea.

"They're just not going to strengthen another team that, in their opinion, are rivals for the title."

Regardless of who comes in to replace Bale, Villas-Boas thinks Spurs will be well equipped for the year ahead given that they have won their first two games following a £60million summer spending spree.

"We have a very, very strong team the same. If this transfer happens, it will give the opportunity to step up their game, step up the responsibility and I think we have seen that in the last couple of games," Villas-Boas said.

"There hasn't been any disruption. We've been working well and the team is training very, very well."

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