International news: Real Madrid's Gareth Bale may be handed the Wales captaincy
Gareth Bale could be in line to be the next Wales skipper for next month's friendly against Holland in Amsterdam.
Last Updated: 23/05/14 7:44am
Wales boss Chris Coleman is without international skippers Aaron Ramsey and Ashley Williams, who are both rested for the June 4 encounter.
Coleman is keeping his cards close to his chest, but it would seem the 24-year-old former Tottenham star is in pole position for the armband.
He has already won the Copa del Rey in his first season with Real and he'll be part of an all-Spanish Champions League final against Atletico Madrid in Lisbon on Saturday, shown live on Sky Sports.
"I have got the captain, but he does not know it yet. He will know it soon," said Coleman, after naming a 23-man squad for the Holland clash.
"There will be another captain, and I will have that conversation with him."
Coleman believes the Dutch game will be "an invaluable experience" despite being without several key players.
Arsenal's FA Cup final hero Ramsey, Swansea captain Williams, Burnley's Sam Ricketts and West Ham defender James Collins are among the absentees, while reserve keeper Boaz Myhill has confirmed his retirement from international
Coleman, though, has Bale at his disposal, while there is also a chance for promising uncapped young talent like Manchester United's Tom Lawrence and Hull defender James Chester.
"We have been building, doing well and picking up momentum and this is another game and another chance for us," he added.
"As an international manager, you want to climb the rankings, and to do that
you need some results against some juicy teams. You can arrange friendly games against weaker opposition, and while it looks good that you've won a game, you don't learn a lot and you don't go anywhere in the rankings.
"We have tried to pick strong opposition, and they don't come much stronger
than this one. It will be good for us. If we lose more (players), then we do. We have to get on with it, but the lads there will get the experience against a very good Dutch team going to the World Cup, and it will be an invaluable experience.
"Normally, I wouldn't take a game, but it's Holland in Amsterdam. We took it also because this time next year we will be preparing for Belgium in a (European Championship) qualifier, so there are two reasons why we took the
Ramsey will be rested after a season that saw him sidelined for four months with a thigh injury, before making his comeback towards the campaign's latter
stages, along with the likes of Collins, Williams and Williams' Swansea colleague Ben Davies.
"We had a good conversation," said Coleman, regarding Ramsey. "We thought he can come with us (to Holland), but we think he needs a good rest.
"He is a loss, of course he is, and we are a better team when he is with us, that's obvious. But we didn't want to take the risk, neither did Aaron, nor Arsenal, I would have thought.
"Ben Davies and Ashley Williams have got the same problem (injury) and they
need a good rest. They rarely miss games or training, they've got great attitudes, it's just they have finished the season with Swansea and now they need rest with the injuries that they've got."
Uncapped Chester, meanwhile, played in Hull's FA Cup final defeat against Arsenal last weekend, when Ramsey scored the winning goal, although Tigers boss Steve Bruce then said his player would not be available to tackle Holland.
"We will not be taking the risk," Coleman said. "If there is a problem we will not risk him, simple as that. But I spoke to 'Brucey' and James last week and we are looking forward to having him. He is another member of the squad, another Premier League player which we think will help and improve us.
"We cannot say he is coming in and he will definitely start. He will need to come through the sessions, and we will see how he is."