By Ben Hayward
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has devised a special fitness plan to speed up Gareth Bale's integration into the squad once his transfer from Tottenham is finally sealed.
The 24-year-old has not played an official game since scoring for Spurs in a friendly win against Swindon on July 16 and will only start training with Madrid on September 11 because of international duty with Wales.
Ancelotti is determined for Bale to be match fit as soon as possible and has tasked his trusted conditioning coach Giovanni Mauri with structuring a tailored programme.
This will include monitoring the forward's diet, extensive gym work and match simulation exercises. Madrid are set to complete the signing of Bale in the next 24 hours and plan to unveil their new player on Monday, but the Spanish side are frustrated that he will head off with Wales immediately.
A deal with Tottenham has been in place for several days and Madrid had hoped to unveil Bale last Tuesday, but Spurs are still busy in the transfer market themselves and discussions over how the fee will be paid have held up the announcement.
Madrid erected a stage in the stands for Bale's presentation on August 23, but the Blancos have been forced to dismantle the construction for the visit of Athletic Bilbao in La Liga on Sunday.
Madrid may now opt to unveil Bale on the pitch itself, as they did with Cristiano Ronaldo among others, and president Florentino Perez hopes for a packed-out Bernabeu as most madrilenos return from their summer holidays this weekend.
Provided all goes according to schedule with his fitness plan, Bale could be in line for his long-awaited Madrid debut away to Villarreal in the Primera Division on September 14.
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