Gareth Bale a doubt for Wales qualifiers
REAL Madrid’s world-record signing Gareth Bale is a doubt for Wales’ upcoming World Cup qualifiers after he aggravated a thigh injury.
Madrid have confirmed that Bale will miss tonight’s Champions League match against FC Copenhagen due to the injury.
The Welshman, signed from Tottenham for £85m, suffered the setback in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid.
And with Wales boss Chris Coleman set to name his squad tomorrow for the final Group A double-header against Macedonia and Belgium, Bale may not feature for his country.
“After the tests carried out today [Wednesday], the player has been diagnosed with a muscle contracture in his left thigh,” said a Real Madrid statement.
“It remains to be seen how the condition develops.”
Bale, aged 24, is yet to complete a full 90 minutes for the Spanish giants, and had to withdraw from the Real Madrid team minutes before the league game against Getafe on September 22 after straining his left thigh.
He did play for the last half an hour of Wales’ 3-0 home defeat to Serbia on September 10 before scoring on his Madrid debut against Villareal on September 14.
The defeat to Serbia at the Cardiff City Stadium, coupled with the 2-1 reverse in Macedonia, left Wales bottom of their group ahead of the final two games.
Coleman’s men host Macedonia in Cardiff on Friday, October 11, before traveling to Belgium to complete the campaign on October 15. They also host Finland in Cardiff for a friendly on November 16.
But the manager’s future could depend on the qualifying results according to Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford.
The ex-Fulham boss’s contract ends after the matches and Ford admitted that talks over an extension are still ongoing.
“Clearly he needs to ensure we have a good couple of matches and let’s hope we have that,” Ford said.
The Wales boss caused controversy following the Serbia defeat when he claimed that Newport-born defender James Collins had rejected the chance to join the squad ahead of the game.
The 30-year-old West Ham centre-back said he had not been contacted by Coleman or the FAW to request he joined up with the squad.
Ford hopes the pair have patched up their differences.
“I’m assuming Chris and James have managed to get heads together. I hope they have,” said Ford.
Ford claimed he had not talked “specifically” with the Wales manager about the row.
“Whilst there might have been a few cross words I’m sure they have made amends. I don’t know the full details,” added Ford.
“Chris was under an awful lot of pressure at the time. I haven’t spoken to him specifically about that. I’m aware of the situation; I’ve had some words of course.
“There’s no point me dragging up old stuff, the important thing is to look forward.”
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