Jose Mourinho was not prepared to give anything away as Gareth Bale’s representatives work on a return to Tottenham.
Spurs and Real Madrid were still in discussions to get the move done on Wednesday morning, the PA news agency understands.
It is a complicated deal that will inevitably encounter hurdles given Bale’s wages and situation at the Bernabeu, but it is one that the Welshman is keen to make.
Mourinho, who tried to take Bale to Madrid when he was manager there, was unmoved on the possible signing.
The Spurs boss said ahead of his side’s Europa League second-round qualifying clash with Lokomotiv Plovdiv: “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.
“I don’t comment on hypothetical stuff. Again, I repeat, I’m not going to comment on Gareth Bale, a Real Madrid player. I have to respect 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.”
Bale left north London in 2013 for a then world-record fee and went on to become one of the top three players in the world alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
He won four Champions League titles, along with a host of domestic trophies, but has fallen out of favour under Zinedine Zidane and it looks like being a bitter end for him in the Spanish capital.
It was reported on Tuesday night that Dele Alli could potentially be used as a makeweight in the deal, but the PA news agency understands the club are not looking to sell.
Alli was taken off at half-time during Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Everton and will not travel to Bulgaria, but Mourinho insists there is no issue.
“Dele’s a very polite guy, very calm, I think he’s a bit introspective,” he said. “When you think a lot about things, so I think the way he reacted was Dele.
“Was quiet, was sad but in the end, after the game, he was just one of many. But again, I repeat, he’s a good boy.
“Very, very polite and I never saw from him, in here, with myself, with the others, a strong reaction. A good boy, a really good boy.
“That is my job to make these decisions and to try the best for the team when I am not happy with the performance. There is no story. It is just that.”
Even with the addition with Bale, Mourinho will still be desperate for a striker to help ease the load on Harry Kane.
Mourinho confirmed that Kane would travel and play in Bulgaria on Thursday and then play at Southampton on Sunday.
Spurs also play Leyton Orient in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday before a possible Europa League trip to Macedonia or Romania next Thursday.
“He cannot play every match for 90 minutes. That’s for sure,” Mourinho conceded. “I know that he would like to do that, because that’s his nature and he’s the kind of guy who is happy to be on the pitch for 90 minutes, but it’s not possible.
“This situation is an extreme situation for us. Hopefully we have this problem but we need to win in Plovdiv and in Leyton, but hopefully we have this problem and no player can play 90 minutes of every game.”
Giovani Lo Celso returned to training after missing out at the weekend with a hamstring injury, but Serge Aurier is a doubt after sustaining a training knock.
🎙️ Jose on injury news:— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 16, 2020
Mourinho is not taking the Bulgarian side lightly.
He said: “It is only one game, not two – with two games the situation would be different.
“With one match, one decision, everything is decided tomorrow. I think it is a difficult match and we are going to give them the respect they deserve from us.
“We are going there knowing it is black or white, there is no other option, you win or lose, you are in or out.
“We go with the intention of being in the next round. I believe it is a good competition to develop my team and try to win it.”
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