Gareth Bale will not be involved in Tottenham's start to the Premier League season although manager Andre Villas-Boas has emphasised his desire to retain a player that the club "cherishes".
The Welshman's future has been the subject of much speculation throughout the summer, with Bale closely linked with a world-record move to Real Madrid.
The saga has dominated the headlines - and will no doubt continue to do so with the transfer window open until Monday, September 2 - although there was some distraction when Spurs confirmed they have reached an agreement with Toulouse to sign France midfielder Etienne Capoue.
Bale sat out Wales' goalless draw against the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday night with a foot injury and national-team manager Chris Coleman admitted questions over Bale's future had dominated the build-up to the game.
Spurs open their new campaign at newly-promoted Crystal Palace on Sunday and when asked if Bale would feature at Selhurst Park, Villas-Boas told Sky Sports News: "No, because he's been out injured for most of pre-season.
"He was involved in the games against Brentford and Swindon but not any others, for different reasons; he pulled a muscle in his gluteus that prevented him from being involved for two weeks and he's been complaining of pain in the foot.
"I think the most natural thing is to see him not involved against Palace."
He added: "We've been very, very clear with everybody regarding the player and our willingness to hold on to him.
"Obviously in football anything can happen in the end but this is a player we cherish a lot and has helped us progress and ideally we want to continue with him."
Real have maintained a constant public campaign to try to woo Bale this summer, but the clubs have yet to come to an agreement.
The 24-year-old reportedly favours a move to the Spanish capital, but chairman Daniel Levy is said to be demanding a fee in excess of the £80million that Real paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo four years ago.
Michael Dawson sympathised with his team-mate's predicament but he would not be distracted by the speculation.
Dawson told Sky Sports News: "To be fair, Gareth has missed a lot of (pre-season) through injury, so when you're injured you certainly feel a little bit left out.
"But, as players, you concentrate on what you're doing on a daily basis and that's all you can do. Pre-season is all about getting fit. We've had a great six weeks, some good games, and we're ready and looking forward to the start of the season now.
"Gareth is a top player. The season he had last year he's going to attract speculation.
"But the manager said he's staying, the chairman has, so for us as players we can't concentrate on that. We just keep our heads down and as a team work hard."
Speculation will swirl around White Hart Lane but today the fans could cheer the arrival of Capoue.
The 25-year-old, who has seven full caps for France, made his Toulouse debut in 2007 and has become one of their most important players.
He was also named in the Ligue 1 Team of the Year in 2012 alongside new Spurs team-mate Hugo Lloris.
Villas-Boas added: "We're extremely delighted to welcome Capoue into the team.
"As a player he has been growing very rapidly in Toulouse.
"He can play in various positions and will strengthen our midfield following the signings of Hull with Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore going.
"It gives us more depth. He is a player of international quality and was involved in France and came on (in their friendly) against Belgium."
Despite being primarily a midfielder, Capoue can also operate as a centre-back which could prove useful for Villas-Boas as he is short in that area of the pitch.
The Frenchman becomes Tottenham's fourth major acquisition of the summer following moves for Paulinho, Nacer Chadli and Roberto Soldado as Villas-Boas looks to build a squad capable of securing a top-four finish this season.