Real Madrid were given renewed hope in their pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale on Tuesday when a Spurs director admitted they cannot hold onto him against his will.
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.
However, although club director Keith Mills says Spurs “very much want Bale to stay”, he accepts 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.”
Bale, 24, reported for training on Tuesday morning, despite reports in the Spanish media that he would go on strike in a bid to force through a move to the Spanish capital.
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.
Off twitter page
Tottenham have taken Bale off the home page of the club’s official Twitter account, a further indication that the striker could be on his way to Real Madrid. Bale’s photograph had previously occupied the left side of the home page and Clint Dempsey the right. The image of Dempsey, who has joined Seattle Sounders, has been replaced with a photograph of Aaron Lennon, while Moussa Dembélé has taken the place of Bale.
Ince urges action
Blackpool manager Paul Ince has called for tighter security at English grounds after crowd trouble marred his side’s 1-0 loss at Preston North End in the League Cup. Preston’s fans flooded onto the Deepdale pitch to goad rival supporters at the final whistle of Monday’s local derby, while a steward had to be taken to hospital after being trampled on by a police horse.