Gareth Bale may miss Wales Nations League opener due to LAFC schedule

Gareth Bale is in danger of missing the Wales Nations League game in Belgium despite making plans for a transatlantic jump into Robert Page’s squad.

Bale will play for his MLS club Los Angeles FC in the early hours of Monday morning UK time and will not arrive in Wales until Tuesday.

Wales will train at their Vale of Glamorgan base on Wednesday before flying to Brussels for the penultimate Nations League game the following evening.

Boss Page said: “We haven’t gone into the details yet but all we know is that he will be affected.

‘He won’t land until Tuesday and we have to get him from Heathrow.

“There will be a lot of planning in terms of ‘will he be ready for the first game against Belgium?’

“Of course, if not, we have to save it for the game against Poland.

“But his safety and health are the most important thing, so we have to take care of that.

“We want him to be in top form, we don’t want him to go into games tired and take the risk of injury.”

Despite having been in the United States for less than three months, Bale already boasts the best-selling jersey in all of MLS.

But the Wales captain has gotten off to a slow start on the pitch at LAFC after his trophy-rich nine-year tenure at Real Madrid came to an end this summer.

He has made 10 appearances in the United States but has only started twice and has 90 minutes left to play for his new club.

In just over five hours of football, Bale has scored twice as he builds his fitness for November’s World Cup.

Page said: “He’s playing minutes. Of course we want him to play more minutes, but I’m not too worried.

“Whatever minutes he plays, I know when he comes to camp, even if he’s not playing, that he’ll be ready to play for us.

“We won’t endanger him. We’re going to the World Cup.

“We want to stay in the division (Nations League) but we’re not going to be stupid about it and push him.

“We have to cope with the time difference and the jet lag. We will bring him to the camp, examine him and make a plan.”

Wales complete their Nations League program against Poland in Cardiff on September 25, three days after their game against Belgium.

It will be their last game before the World Cup, with Wales likely to need to beat Poland to retain their place in the top tier of the Nations League.

Page, who signed a four-year deal this week to oversee the Euro 2024 and 2026 qualifying campaigns, expects Bale, 33, to be around for some time to come.

He said: “We want Gareth to stay with us for as long as possible. He can influence the younger players in every camp.

“I don’t think a crowd of six or seven players will go (after the World Cup).

“They respect the culture so much that they don’t want to have a serious impact.” Gareth Bale may miss Wales Nations League opener due to LAFC schedule

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