Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has refused to comment on the club’s attempts to re-sign Gareth Bale.
The Real Madrid winger’s representatives are currently working on a deal to take Bale back to Spurs. But ahead of his side’s Europa League second-round qualifying clash with Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Mourinho said: “Gareth Bale is a Real Madrid player and I don’t comment on players from other clubs.
“That is not my job to have contacts with agents. I don’t want to comment on that.”
The 31-year-old swapped the north London club for the Spanish capital in 2013, winning four Champions Leagues during a medal-laden stint at the Bernabeu.
But Bale has found himself marginalised under Zinedine Zidane and a return to Spurs could be on the cards. The two parties were still in discussions to get the move done on Wednesday morning.
It is a complicated deal that will inevitably encounter problems given Bale’s wages and contract length at the Bernabeu, but it is one that the Welshman is keen to make.
Asked about his previous efforts to sign Bale during his time as Manchester United manager, Mourinho replied: “Even before that, I tried to sign him for Real Madrid which was not possible to do during my time there.
“But the president followed my instinct and 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 about him anymore because he is a Real Madrid player.”
Asked if Tottenham’s players had been messaging each other about the Bale situation, Eric Dier said: “Nothing on the WhatsApp group. There’s a lot of speculation and nowadays it’s impossible not to see it. It’s not really for me to speak about.”
He added: “From the fans’ point of view, when you’re linked with a player of that level, it’s extremely exciting for any club.
“For me personally it doesn’t really affect me in any way. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last time. There’s constantly speculation about people going different places, different talk in football every day.”
Tottenham trained with a full squad ahead of their European trip to Bulgaria. Giovani Lo Celso was present after he missed Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Everton with a hamstring injury. The likes of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Dele Alli and Lucas Moura were all present as Mourinho looks set to travel with a strong squad.
Mourinho says Tanguy Ndombele is not fit enough to start, but his process is a “positive” one.