Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has refused to be drawn any further on the future of Real Madrid target Gareth Bale.
Bale was a notable absentee as Tottenham rounded off their preseason 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 Sept. 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."
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger blasted Bale's proposed world record transfer to Real Madrid would make a joke of UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations earlier in the week. Tottenham is in talks with Madrid regarding a potential transfer for Bale, with reports saying the fee would exceed the record 80-million pounds that Madrid paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
Financial Fair Play aims to stop clubs entering European competitions from repeatedly spending more than they earn. Wenger says ''it's quite amazing in the year when Financial Fair Play comes in, world football goes completely crazy.
''You wonder what kind of impact and effect it has on the football world. It looks like it has made everybody worse than before. It makes a joke of it.''