Gareth Bale has his sights on making his second Tottenham debut against West Ham after Jose Mourinho ruled him out of Sunday’s game at Manchester United.
Mourinho insists Bale will not be ready for Old Trafford as he continues to work on his fitness and does not expect Ryan Giggs to call him up for Wales duty in the international break, which includes a friendly against England.
The Spurs boss also says he trusts Gareth Southgate to use Harry Kane, Eric Dier and Harry Winks sparingly after their heavy September workload at club level.
‘Bale cannot play tomorrow or even on the weekend, that I can confirm,’ said Mourinho on the eve of a Europa League play-off against Maccabi Haifa.
‘He is working very hard, very committed, very professional, very happy but not yet ready.
‘I believe the two weeks of internationals can be important weeks for his last phase of recovering and fitness problem, hopefully to play when we’re back to the weekend after national teams. Let’s see if it’s possible to arrive there.
‘I didn’t speak with Ryan Giggs either but it looks like he understands the player and know how important this period is for the player, and it looks like his decision is not to bring him to the national team.
‘In fact, he is not ready, he couldn’t play for them, but to be there and to lose the work he could do with us would be very important for the player. He belongs to Tottenham and belongs to the Welsh national team and it looks like he will have this period to work specifically and it looks like he will be back in good conditions.’
Bale will miss the clash against United, who were rumoured to be interested in signing the 31-year-old this summer.
The Welshman has returned to Tottenham on loan from Real Madrid and fans are longing to see him link up with England captain Kane, who will make his ninth appearance for club and country in 26 days since the start of the new season against Maccabi Haifa.
‘When you have such a player and you want to win every match, you play him,’ said Mourinho, when asked about Kane’s availability for England, who have three home fixtures in October.
‘But you just can’t do it. I believe that Gareth and Steve Holland, they care about the players and I don’t think they want to be connected with something that can be a consequence of this week plus the three matches that the national team has, which is obviously too much – especially for my players.
‘So I don’t speak with Gareth, I don’t speak even with Steve and, of course, with Steve I am a very good friend of his. I just let them do their job the way they want to do it, with the freedom they deserve.
‘So, hopefully, Gareth and Steve understand what happened with Tottenham players this week and they respect the players.
‘That’s just my hope, but I’m not going to call, I’m not going to ask, I’m not going to beg, I’m not going to press. I think they deserve their freedom and I have the utmost respect to them.’