Mourinho coy as Bale pursues return
Jose Mourinho was keen to take the credit Wednesday for Real Madrid signing Gareth Bale. The Tottenham Hotspur manager was more coy on the team’s moves to bring the forward back to London.
Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, has revealed that he is in talks with Tottenham about a deal for the Wales star to play for the club again after seven years away.
“Gareth still loves Spurs,” Barnett said on Tuesday. “We are talking (Spurs, Real and Bale’s camp). It’s where he wants to be.”
Mourinho said he was not involved in any discussions. “Gareth Bale is a Real Madrid player and I don’t comment on players from other clubs,” Mourinho said.
“That is not my job to have contacts with agents. So honestly I don’t want to comment on that — especially regarding players who are players from other clubs.”
Tottenham sold Bale to Madrid in 2013 for 100 million euros (then $132million) — months after Mourinho left the Spanish giants.
“I tried to sign him for Real Madrid which was not possible during my time there,” Mourinho said. “But the president (Florentino Pérez) followed my instinct and followed my knowledge and, the season I left, he brought Gareth to the club. There is no secret on that. Even Gareth knows that.”
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is trying to find a way of re-signing Bale in a move that could see Madrid attempt to take Dele Alli as part of what would constitute the most eye-catching deal of the transfer window.
One proposal that would interest Madrid is for Bale to return to Tottenham on loan, paying 50 per cent of his wages, with Alli moving in the opposite direction and the Spanish champions paying 100 per cent of his salary.
Whether that interests Levy remains to be seen, but it would allow Spurs to re-sign Bale and pay him £300,000 a week, half of which would be financed by the saving made on Alli’s wages. It would leave open the question of what happens to both players at the end of this season — although that would be shaped by their performances over the next eight months.
Bale endured his worst season at the Spanish club in 2019-20 with only three goals in all competitions.
The Welshman has a contract until 2022 and was set to make a lucrative move to the Chinese Super League last year before the transfer was scuttled when Madrid made a last-minute decision to insist on a transfer fee rather than terminate his contract.