Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has said that no player is as valuable as the sum of money Real Madrid are reportedly preparing to pay Tottenham for Gareth Bale.
Bale, 24, has been called into the Wales squad for the friendly match against Ireland in Cardiff on Wednesday, despite Andre Villas-Boas’ claim that he will struggle to play for Spurs against Crystal Palace in the Premier League three days later because of a foot injury.
Speculation suggests Real could be willing to spend over £100 million in order to sign Bale, however, Trapattoni is adamant that not even Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo are worth as much.
He said: "Today with the media, and a famous name, the more you speak about players the more the money goes up, especially with all the money in the game.
"I once had a great club president in Gianni Agnelli at Juventus, who was head of Fiat. He had a lot of money, but there were situations when he said I could not spend a lot of money because he had many people working for him who were working class. He told me to look for other players. I remember his words like it is today.
"This money, for me there is no player valued at that much money. One player cannot win a game on his own. Even players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pele or Johan Cruyff, all these famous players needed a team."
Chris Coleman has not revealed if he plans for Bale to play any part against Ireland, and Trapattoni is sympathetic to the situation the Wales manager finds himself in.
He said: "I had this with many teams when I managed Italy.
"When there is a friendly game, the players are very busy, and Bale is an important player.
"It would be good if he can play, maybe in a friendly my habit would be to guarantee club managers of my intention to only play a player for 45 minutes.
"But it is not my habit to speak about what other managers ask of their players. I don't know what he will do with Bale."
A number of Trapattoni’s squad have withdrawn through injury including Anthony Pilkington, Simon Cox, David Forde, Sean St Ledger, Aiden McGeady and Stephen Quinn.
In Pilkington’s case it is the fourth time he has withdrawn from international duty and the Norwich midfielder has not reported to have his injury checked by Ireland doctors. Trapattoni, though, remains calm about the situation.
He said: "We have a good relationship with our doctor, he knows many club doctors and with Pilkington I also asked Wes (Hoolahan) and he told me his knee is swollen, he has been having injections and he has pain and I am confident about the professional doctor.
"The doctor is important, he is not a manager, it is a specialist position with a big responsibility.
"The clubs pay the players and they can tell them not to report for international duty. I have asked FIFA and UEFA to have rules where when a player is called by his country he must go. But for UEFA and FIFA you cannot take control over the clubs.
"Only if FIFA and UEFA introduce an obligation in the rules can our federation say you have to come here to be checked before you go back. But the club are personal shareholders of the players."