Jose Mourinho kept his cards close to his chest on the possibility of Gareth Bale rejoining Tottenham, as negotiations continue with Real Madrid.
Bale left Spurs to join Madrid in a €100million (£85m) move in 2013, after several outstanding seasons at White Hart Lane.
However, despite having gone on to win numerous honours – including four Champions Leagues and two LaLiga titles – the Welshman has seen his game time become increasingly limited under Zinedine Zidane.
Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett on Friday confirmed talks between Madrid and Spurs were ongoing, telling Stats Perform News: “We’re negotiating at the moment, that’s all. I won’t discuss [how close it is].”
In his news conference ahead of Tottenham’s Europa League clash with Lokomotiv Plovdiv on Thursday, Mourinho insisted he would not comment on the situation of a player at another club.
“Gareth Bale is a Real Madrid player, I don’t comment on players from another club,” said Mourinho.
“That’s not my job to have contact with agents or honestly, I don’t want to comment on that. Especially on players for other clubs.
“I don’t comment on hypothetical stuff. Again, I repeat, I’m not going to comment on Gareth Bale. He’s a Real Madrid player and I have to respect that.”
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 16, 2020
Mourinho added that he attempted to sign the Bale during his stint at Madrid from 2010 until 2013, although a deal could not be struck at the time.
“I tried to sign him for Real Madrid, which was not possible to do during my time there,” Mourinho said.
“But the president 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. But I’m not going to speak on that anymore.”
Bale – who has also been linked with Manchester United – made 20 appearances across all competitions for Madrid last season, scoring just twice.
The 31-year-old’s time at Santiago Bernabeu has been plagued by injuries, though even when fit he was often left out by Zidane.
Spurs lost their opening match of the Premier League season on Sunday, going down 1-0 at home to Everton, though Mourinho was adamant the result has not made him alter his transfer plans.
“I don’t speak about the transfer market because we lost against Everton. I gave my vision in a written document periodically. I think three, four times since I arrived in the club and [Tottenham chairman] Mr [Daniel] Levy has all my views based on my vision, my experience, my knowledge, not based on a result.
“It’s not a bad performance, a bad result that makes me change my idea and makes me go to the laptop and try to change the things that I wrote months ago and weeks ago.
“A squad is a puzzle. When a new signing completes the puzzle, it’s great for the team. Three more weeks, the market is open. Both ways. When the market is open in football you have to always be waiting for something to happen.
“Let’s see what happens to us. I never liked, but we have to adapt, to start the competition with an open transfer window. I don’t think it’s right for new players to come, other players to leave. Some players play one day for a club and two days later playing against a club.”
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