Wales manager Chris Coleman is hopeful that Gareth Bale can play a part in next Wednesday's friendly against the Republic of Ireland at Cardiff City Stadium.
Coleman has named Tottenham star Bale, who is contemplating a potential world record move to Spanish giants Real Madrid, in his 23-man squad.
Bale is currently nursing an injury, but his absence from Spurs' pre-season programme has done nothing to quash speculation surrounding Real's reported intent to better the world record Â£80million they paid for Cristiano Ronaldo four years ago.
"I always try to pick our strongest squad," Coleman said. "In the FIFA rankings, we have got to try and be as high as we can. We need to win games and keep climbing.
"Gareth knows how important he is to us. It is vitally important we finish as high as we can in our (World Cup) qualifying group, and we need to keep the momentum going.
"If he is not right, he's not right, there is nothing we can do about that.
"But since I have been in charge, he has always been with the group and he has always been very enthusiastic. He loves playing for Wales. We need Gareth, and he knows that."
Coleman agrees that the less physical nature of Spain's Primera Division, compared with the Barclays Premier League, could have a positive spin-off effect for Wales if that is where Bale ends up.
"The tempo of football in Spain is a lot less than the Premier League. The Premier League is the fastest, most physical league on the planet, bar none," he added.
"In La Liga, and I have sampled it, the tempo is slower. It is less physical, so that could be a plus. I am sure that is not in Gareth's thinking.