Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has said he is not comfortable about the handling of Gareth Bale ahead of this month’s international games because one of the Wales coaches also works for rivals Arsenal.
Bale was recalled on Thursday as part of a 29-man squad for the friendly game against the United States before matches against Ireland and Finland in the Nations League.
He missed the international fixtures in October due to a knee injury which also delayed his second Tottenham debut, having re-joined them on loan from Madrid in September.
Mourinho has said he is worried about how Bale will be looked after by Albert Stuivenberg, who works for Wales and Arsenal.
“The fact that one of the coaches is an Arsenal coach does not make me very comfortable,” Mourinho said at a news conference.
“Honestly, it doesn’t make me very comfortable. National team matches should have coaches that work exclusively for them, not coaches who work for other clubs.
“He’s [Bale] getting better and better and I felt he could play 90 minutes. But it’s not about can or cannot, it’s about managing the situation and keeping him safe. He’s a player that needs to be safe, he’s a player that had enough problems in the past. He’s working so much and we’re all working so carefully with him that we don’t want to destroy the work everybody is doing for the last couple of months.
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“Wales have two matches where they play for the Nations League and I expect him to play. But if they care as much about him as we do, they have to manage the recovery period, they have to manage the minutes that he plays and they should not let him get to fatigue levels.”
According to ESPN, Arsenal declined to respond to Mourinho’s comments when the club was contacted.
“It’s not Giggs responsible for these matches and I’m sorry about it, because for the previous fixtures he called me and we shared opinions [on Ben Davies], which is probably not going to happen this time,” Mourinho added.