Tottenham news

We gave Bale time off, says Villas-Boas

August 25, 2013
By ESPN staff

Andre Villas-Boas said he had allowed Gareth Bale, who was not at White Hart Lane for Tottenham’s game against Swansea, to have two days off amid speculation over an impending move to Real Madrid.

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Villas-Boas watched his team chalk up their second successive 1-0 win thanks to Roberto Soldado penalty, but Bale was in Marbella.

“We allowed him two days off," Villas-Boas said. “It's not the first time this has come up. We never force non-selected players to come to our games. I decided that last season.”

Bale has been linked with Madrid all summer, but if the two clubs do not agree a deal by Monday then Villas-Boas expects the 24-year-old to be back at the Spurs training ground on Tuesday for treatment on the foot injury.

“There is interest from Real Madrid,” the Spurs coach said. “Whether the transfer will happen or not... hopefully you will have more news in the next couple of days, but at the moment there is nothing I can tell you.

“Tomorrow is a day off. Tuesday is training, so I would expect him to be there."

Spurs should have had a penalty in the first half when Jonjo Shelvey barged Andros Townsend over, but referee Neil Swarbrick instead gave a free-kick on the edge of the area.

But he pointed to the spot after the break when Townsend went over after the slightest of touches, again from Shelvey.

Villas-Boas praised £26 million club record signing Soldado, saying: “He is really adding to our game because he brings that life and spark. “When he receives the ball in space he has one objective, which is to beat the man."

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup criticised Swarbrick for the penalty decision, but conceded that the home side should have had a spot-kick before the break.

“The free-kick was given outside and maybe it should have been a penalty, but the penalty in the second half wasn't a penalty," he said. “Tottenham are a very good team but they didn't create many chances on goal and they score from that very light penalty.

“They had a couple of chances at the end of the first half but they were created by ourselves, and apart from that they had nothing.”

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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