Coleman expects Bale to feature despite Real 'pressure cooker'
By Football News
Wales boss Chris Coleman expects Gareth Bale to play in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, despite the "pressure cooker" over his future.
The 24-year-old's proposed world record move to Real Madrid appears to be nearing a conclusion amid reports that he failed to report for training with the Premier League club for a second consecutive day on Wednesday.
Bale's fitness has also been under scrutiny of late after he was left out of the majority of Tottenham's pre-season campaign due to injury, with a foot problem ultimately forcing him to withdraw from the Wales squad for the 0-0 friendly draw with the Republic of Ireland earlier this month.
Despite that, and the continued uncertainty over his club future, Coleman opted to include Bale in his plans when he announced his 23-man squad for the FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifying double-header against Macedonia and Serbia next month – and he expects the winger to play some part.
"Until we are told specifically that he is physically unavailable, he's available," Coleman told Sky Sports News.
"We know what is going on and it is not easy for him, or for Tottenham. But he is very much part of our plans.
"With Gareth, there is obviously a lot going on mentally, but to have him is a boost for us.
"Maybe he won't be able to finish 90 minutes, but if he can play some part then it is a big boost."
Asked how he expected Bale to handle the attention that is currently being heaped upon him, Coleman backed the former Southampton man to cope with the situation.
"He has got to take it in his stride," the Wales boss added. "He is in that pressure-cooker situation where the spotlight is on him.
"It is difficult for Tottenham too in that people are speaking about one of their players. He is still their player.
"It is public knowledge that something could be happening. It’s not been easy for him.
"But he is a very unassuming lad. He is very grounded."