TOTTENHAM

Mourinho: "I tried to sign Bale for Real Madrid"

Tottenham coach Jose Mourinho has responded to Gareth Bale links ahead of Spurs' Europa League clash with Lokomotiv Plovdiv.

Mourinho: "I tried to sign Bale for Real Madrid"
ADAM DAVY Pool via REUTERS

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has refused to be drawn into talk about Gareth Bale amid reports the player is close to a return to the club as part of a loan deal with Real Madrid.

The Welshman’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, has confirmed a deal is close but yet to be confirmed between Madrid and Spurs.

Spurs are set to announce the signing of Madrid left back Sergio Reguilón in the coming days, and Bale could soon follow his team mate to North London.

However, Mourinho chose not to comment on the Bale situation, only admitting that he wanted to sign the player during his tenure at Real Madrid between 2010 and 2013.

Mourinho responds to Bale links

“Gareth Bale is a Real Madrid player, I don't comment on players from another club," said Mourinho at a press conference ahead of Spur’s Europe League clash with Lokomotiv Plovdiv.

"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."

Mourinho claimed that it was his desire to sign Bale that prompted Madrid president Florentino Perez to pursue the operation, with the Wales striker eventually landing in the Bernabéu in the summer of 2013 for a club-record fee of €100 million.

"I tried to sign him for Real Madrid, which was not possible to do during my time there," Mourinho said.

Bale at his Real Madrid presentation in 2013 with Florentino Perez.

"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."

It is also no secret that Mourinho tried to sign Bale during his time at Manchester United, with the Portuguese coach famously telling the Welshman “I can't buy you because you don't talk to me” in the tunnel before a pre-season friendly between United and Madrid in 2017.

Dier on the Bale speculation

Spurs defender Eric Dier was also asked about the Bale speculation, responding: "I'm sure from the fans' point of view it's very exciting to be linked with a player of that level.

"It doesn't affect me personally. It's not the first time there's been a player linked with going here or there."