Tottenham Hotspur yesterday removed Gareth Bale’s photo from their official Twitter page — an indication that the Wales superstar is certainly on its way out.
The 24-year-old Wales international is the subject of interest from Real Madrid and there were reports in the Spanish media that he would skip training in a bid to force through a move to the Bernabeu.
Interestingly, Tottenham also removed the photo of Clint Dempsey, who completed his move to the Seattle Sounders this week.
The two players have been replaced by two of Spurs best-known players, Dembelé and Lennon. The two photos in the centre of the page remain unchanged, still depicting Jan Vertonghen and Kyle Walker.
Bale trains at Spurs
Meanwhile, to keep speculations under check, Bale yesterday reported for training. He was driven into Spurs’ training complex in Enfield, north London at around 10:30 local time yesterday.
Bale missed Spurs’ 5-2 friendly loss to Monaco at the weekend due to a foot problem and has not played for the club since a 1-1 draw against Swindon Town on July 16.
He was unable to take part in the pre-season tour of Hong Kong because of a buttock injury. Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said last week that his club were in talks with Tottenham over Bale’s transfer, but Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas says the former Southampton player is not for sale.
Bale scored 26 goals for Spurs last season and was voted the Professional Football Association (PFA) Player of the Year, the PFA Young Player of the Year and the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) Footballer of the Year.
‘Can’t force Gareth’
Tottenham club director Keith Mills renewed Real Madrid’s hope when he accepted that the London side cannot force the player to remain at White Hart Lane against his wishes.
“If a player is desperate to leave, it’s very difficult to force him to stay,” Mills told London’s Evening Standard newspaper. “We’ve seen it in other clubs. Even if he has a contract, you can’t force somebody to play for you.”