AVB draws line under Bale talk
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas refused to be drawn any further on the future of Real Madrid target Gareth Bale - but stressed the midfielder would link up with Wales next week.
Bale was a notable absentee as Tottenham rounded off their pre-season campaign with a 1-1 draw against Espanyol at White Hart Lane, where summer signing Roberto Soldado marked his home debut with a goal from the penalty spot in the first half.
It was a sound performance from Spurs, who look well-equipped to challenge for the top four of the Barclays Premier League once again.
But the debate surrounding whether or not talismanic midfielder Bale will remain past the September 2 transfer deadline will continue to make the headlines as the Spanish giants are said to be ready to spend the best part of £100million to land him.
Villas-Boas said: "The only thing I can say about the stories is I am not going to comment because everybody has speculated a lot. There are some different stories, some which are not true, with people inventing without knowledge of what is going on.
"The only thing I can tell you is the player is under the treatment of the medical department for this pain in the foot which is disturbing him.
"He has been called up for his national team [for a friendly match against the Republic of Ireland], our medical department is going to be in contact with the Wales medical department to make sure they have everything available in terms of giving information on how the player has been doing in these last weeks.
"Regarding the speculation, I don't want to extend myself further than I have told you."
Bale, who was not at White Hart Lane, is set to report for international duty with Wales on Sunday ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Ireland.
Villas-Boas said: "The only thing we can do is make information available to the Welsh FA. If he gets to a fixture available to play it is because he hasn't felt pain. He is training on his own so there is a possibility he makes a recovery."
The Spurs manager, though, accepted it was unlikely Bale would be in contention to face Crystal Palace in their Premier League opener next weekend.
He added: "If we manage to recover the player, but obviously he is far far off fitness regarding what the others have done. It is three weeks since he played for Tottenham so I wouldn't expect him to play for us."
Villas-Boas insisted the frenzied speculation surrounding Bale's future had not been allowed to impact the squad's pre-season build-up.
"It has not affected us in any shape or form. We have continued our preparation," said Villas-Boas, who expects to complete the signing of Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue in an £8m deal early next week.
"What we have to recognise is five weeks gone by since (we started) buying and selling, but we haven't been able to train with all the team together because Paulinho and Soldado only arrived last week.
"There will be more players to arrive and more players to leave. At the moment we are a team in prospect.
Villas-Boas added: "We still have lots of things to do. The last week in the transfer window can be surprising.
"I can't tell you we have stopped in the transfer market because we haven't, this means players coming in and players going out.
"We will continue to re-strengthen ourselves, but what we have at the moment is a very strong squad either way, one that puts us in a good position to get the three points at Palace."