• La Liga

Bale back row as Spanish press blast Real

ESPN staff
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The Spanish press claim Gareth Bale needs back surgery © Getty Images
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Gareth Bale has found himself in the middle of an escalating rift between Real Madrid and the Spanish press over claims the club are lying about the severity of his back injury.

Marca - who usually act as Real's mouthpiece - reported Bale has a slipped disc that requires back surgery, and that the club knew of his condition when they paid £86 million for him.

On Saturday Real issued a statement denying the claim. They insisted Bale has a small chronic disc bulge", and said it is a problem that is "extremely common among football players".

But Marca have hit back by quoting a doctor to lend weight to their claim that Real are not letting on how serious the injury is. Dr Avelino Parajon said: "If Real Madrid have signed Gareth Bale knowing about this protrusion, they have committed an error."

Bale has endured a frustrating start to life in Madrid. Despite scoring on his debut at Villareal he has only played twice since.

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