Wales manager Chris Coleman says he won’t select Gareth Bale for international friendlies in the spring if Real Madrid are still competing for La Liga and the Champions League.
The Wales forward has not been selected for his country’s game against the Netherlands next week but is expected to be back in the Real starting line up for the Clasico on November 21.
According to the Wales boss, despite Bale being close to fitness following a calf injury, he decided not to call up the star of the team because it wasn’t in Wales’ “long-term interests”.
Coleman is hoping to confirm some high profile friendlies in March as his nation prepares for their first appearance at major championships since 1958 when they head to the European Championships next summer.
Speaking to reporters, Coleman said: “Baley went back after the last camp, trained for two or three days, and then broke down. Madrid immediately came out and said: ‘That’s not Wales – he got injured here.’ That was good to hear, because they could have used us as an excuse if they had wanted to, but they never did.
“If March comes around and Baley has had a lot of football, and Madrid say: ‘Look, he’s fit, but we are in the semi finals of the Champions League, or whatever’ then I’m not going to say: ‘No. he’s playing.’
“When you start talking like that – when you are that dogmatic – that is when it bites you on the backside further down the line.”