Gareth Bale is focused on a strong finish to the season, including Wales’ Euro 2020 campaign, before contemplating what happens next in his career.
Having become a peripheral figure at Real Madrid, Bale returned to Tottenham for the 2020-21 campaign in a loan move that appeared to be an ideal solution for all parties.
However, the 31-year-old arrived with a knee injury that required rehabilitation, leading to a sedate start to his second spell with Spurs. After waiting until October 18 to feature for the first team, he has completed 90 minutes just once – against Wycombe Wanderers in an FA Cup tie.
Yet there were signs of a return to form prior to the international break, including scoring twice and providing an assist in a resounding 4-0 win over Burnley.
Bale was also on target twice in a Premier League triumph over Crystal Palace, lifting his goal tally into double figures in all competitions.
His immediate focus is on Wales’ World Cup qualifying campaign – having lost their Group E opener to Belgium, they host the Czech Republic on Tuesday – while there is no urgency on his part to work out a “solution” to his situation at club level.
“For me, first and foremost, I still have this season, still have plenty of games to go until the Euros,” Bale told the media on Monday.
“Going into next season, legally my contract says I have to go back to Real Madrid, which is what I stated. I don’t think that was being disrespectful to anybody.
“Real Madrid are my parent club and, as far as I agreed, I’m on loan at Tottenham until the end of the season. That is the plan so far; the reason I left was because I wanted to play games and get match fit, to enjoy my football.
“Obviously, come the summer I will go back to Real Madrid and we will go from there. I think the plan is to go back, whether then I sit down with my agent and decide something, we will do in the summer.”
SGÔR TERFYNOL | 1-0
— Wales (@Cymru) March 27, 2021
He added: “I want to be playing, but in football it’s not just about what you want – it’s also about the other side. I’m concentrating on this season – obviously we have a big game tomorrow – a big end of the season with Tottenham, then the Euros in the summer.
“For me, at the moment, I don’t need to worry about anything else than this season.
“Regarding next season, after the Euros and my summer holiday, we will sit down and go through something then. Hopefully, we will come up with a solution.”
Bale is aiming to finish strongly with Spurs, who have lifted themselves back into the running for a top-four finish in the league. There is also the possibility of securing silverware, with Jose Mourinho’s side taking on Manchester City in the EFL Cup final on April 25.
Asked to assess his season so far, the forward replied: “It’s been okay. It got off to a slow start as I came into Tottenham with a knee injury. Not having played football continuously for a year and a half, it took a little time to get going.
“The past couple of months I’ve felt stronger and stronger – I’ve felt like my form has been there, my speed has been there, I’ve scored some goals.
“I wish it could have started a lot quicker, but also I’m wise enough to know that it does take a bit of time to get your rhythm back. Now that I’m playing, I feel good and hopefully it can continue for the rest of the season, then into the Euros.”
Bale played 84 minutes of last week’s 3-1 defeat to Belgium, while he made a late appearance off the bench in the 1-0 friendly win over Mexico on Saturday.
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