Republic of Ireland assistant manager Marco Tardelli believes Gareth Bale risks losing the respect of his team-mates if he does not play for Wales in Wednesday's friendly.
The 24-year-old Tottenham winger's future is firmly in the spotlight with Real Madrid keen to attempt a world record deal to take him to the Bernabeu.
Despite not having played for Spurs in almost a month, and while he continues to nurse a foot injury, Bale has reported for duty with Chris Coleman's side ahead of the Cardiff City Stadium clash.
It is understood Bale is concerned about the prospect of risking an injury against the Republic, which could potentially scupper any impending deal. But Tardelli believes Bale needs to pull on a red shirt on Wednesday, or risk upsetting his Wales colleagues.
When asked if he expected to be facing the winger, Tardelli replied: "I think he will play, he is a Welsh player and he is the best player in the team.
"If he wants the respect of the other players he must play. He is a very good player, at the moment he is up there with Cristiano Ronaldo and players of that calibre, and we saw this with what he did for Tottenham last season."
Of the reported £105million fee Real are ready to splash out on Bale, Tardelli added: "Times change but maybe in my time Diego Maradona may have been (worth that much).
"I don't know if Bale is worth that much but if someone pays it that is his value."
But Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan is not so convinced that Coleman will be able to field his main attacking catalyst, and expects Bale to avoid any risks.
He said: "I am not too sure he will play. He has got a big-money move lined up. No one knows if it is on or off but if I was Gareth I would maybe be a little wary of playing before any deal is made.