Wales manager Chris Coleman does not believe that Gareth Bale will be fit enough to play a full match for Real Madrid just yet.
Madrid’s summer arrival will start work with his new side from today, after a disrupted preseason and then two weeks with the national team, where he featured in Wales’ defeat to Serbia on Tuesday from the bench.
Speculation in Spain is split on whether Bale will debut for Los Blancos in this Saturday’s League trip to Villarreal, or if he will instead be put through a training programme for 10 days to boost his fitness ahead of a debut in Week 5 at home to Getafe, skipping next midweek’s Champions League opener with Galatasaray.
For Coleman, who has just spent the last two weeks with the €90m-€100m man, he does not see the 24-year-old as fully fit.
“We have looked at him in these 10 days and he is nowhere near ready for 90 minutes even if Spanish football is slower,” Coleman told reporters this week.
“If he starts Saturday, he will not finish the game. I would be amazed if he does.
“He may get 45 minutes, I don't know, but he will feel better in himself after 30 minutes here.
“But he has only had four training sessions in two months which is dangerous.”
Meanwhile, Terra quote a source at Madrid today as indicating their expectancy that Bale will be fitter than Luka Modric was this time last year after his similarly protracted move from Tottenham to the Spanish capital.