Football

Gareth Bale close to Spurs return, says agent, but Mourinho stays coy

Gareth Bale's agent says the Real Madrid forward is "close" to a move back to Tottenham Hotspur, but admitted it is a complicated deal to thrash out.

The Wales international has been frozen out by Real coach Zinedine Zidane and said earlier this month that he was open to returning to the English Premier League.

It was reported that Spurs and Manchester United are keen on signing Bale, but Jose Mourinho appears to be leading the race to land the 31-year-old.

"It's close but not done," Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett told AFP. "It's a complicated deal."

Bale has two years left on a contract that reportedly pays him about £600,000 (S$1 million) a week at Real.

It has been reported the Spanish club would be willing to pay some of that salary to finally move on from their troubled relationship with the forward.

But Mourinho remained coy when asked about Bale ahead of Spurs' Europa League qualifier against Bulgarian side Lokomotiv Plovdiv tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

"Gareth Bale is a Real Madrid player and I don't talk about players from other clubs," he said. "It's not my job to have contact with agents and I don't want to comment. I don't comment on hypothetical stuff.

NO SECRET

"I tried to sign him during my time at Real Madrid and the president followed my instinct and knowledge and the season I left, he brought Gareth to the club. That's no secret and Gareth knows that."

Former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, who managed Bale for four years at Spurs, said he would bring "that little bit of magic" to Mourinho's side, who were lacklustre during their 1-0 loss to Everton in their season opener on Sunday.

He told BBC Radio Wales: "It would be great for Gareth to get back playing again. He's such a talent, such a great player. It's a waste to see him not playing."

Spurs are also reported to be in talks with Real left-back Sergio Reguilon, who had also been linked to United. - AFP, REUTERS

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