Jose Mourinho would not be drawn on speculation linking Gareth Bale with a shock return to Tottenham.
The Spurs boss could be lining up a major coup in the transfer window by landing Bale on a season-long loan.
All roads currently point that way, with the winger’s agent even admitting Tottenham is “where he wants to be”.
Club owner Daniel Levy is reportedly in negotiation with Real Madrid over a potential deal for Bale, but Mourinho has remained coy on the rumours.
“Gareth Bale is a Real Madrid player,” Mourinho told talkSPORT, “I don’t comment on players from other clubs.”
Pressed on whether the club were in talks with Madrid, he added: “It’s not my job to have contact with agents, I don’t want to comment on that, especially on players at other clubs.”
Tottenham could be poised to complete a double swoop on Madrid which would also see full-back Sergio Reguilon move to the club on a permanent deal.
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But it’s the Bale deal which has captured the attention, as the 31-year-old prepares to head back to the club where he spent six years as a player from 2007-2013.
It was at Spurs where he won two PFA Player of the Year awards and he is still highly revered among the club’s fans.
Such a move seemed unlikely previously given Tottenham’s tight wage budget and Bale’s exorbitant salary.
But Madrid are so desperate to get rid of the Welsh superstar they are willing to stump up some of his wages to send him out on loan.
Even if Madrid paid half of Bale’s wages he would be the top earner at Spurs but that is a factor the club seem prepared to accept.
Mourinho is a long-term admirer of the player and tried to sign him several times whilst boss of United and Madrid, and now it looks like he’ll finally be getting his man.
He added: “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.”
Original reports suggested Dele Alli could be used as a make-weight and head in the opposite direction on loan to the Bernabeu, but Mourinho has played down notions of the midfielder leaving.
Alli was substituted at half-time of Tottenham’s defeat to Everton at the weekend with reports claiming since that he had fallen out with his boss in the days leading up to the fixture – though Mourinho insists it was a purely tactical decision.
“The change at half-time was not the first time I do this in my career,” Mourinho explained.
“When I do these things it is always do it for the team.
“In this case it didn’t work and the team wasn’t better in the second half. That’s my job to make decisions.
“There is no story. There is no cases.”
He added: “Dele was quiet, he was sad. After the game, he was just one of many.
“He’s a good boy, very, very polite and I never saw from him a strong reaction. A good boy. Really good boy.”