Jose Mourinho says the issue of Gareth Bale’s future has not been discussed for “one second” at Tottenham, with the Portuguese refuting claims that the Welshman is destined to head back to Real Madrid.
The return of a former favourite to north London generated much excitement during the summer transfer window of 2020.
After seven years in Spain, which delivered plenty of silverware but as many questions as trophies, Bale took the decision to head back to British football.
He had been frozen out at Santiago Bernabeu by Zinedine Zidane and needed a fresh start in order to rediscover his passion for the game.
Spurs were happy to throw open their doors, but a season-long loan deal has not played out as planned.
Bale has taken in just 45 minutes of Premier League football since November 8, with illness and injury stunting his progress.
With others being favoured in Tottenham’s attacking unit, it has been suggested that no permanent agreement will be sought for a player still tied to Real through to 2022.
Mourinho insists he has given no thought to Bale’s future, telling reporters when quizzed on the matter: “There was not even a second of discussion about that.
“Gareth is a player on loan until the end of the season. We are speaking about Gareth himself, Tottenham, Real Madrid.
“But, I promise you, not one second of discussion.”
Mourinho added on the issues endured by Bale, with the 31-year-old having joined his squad nursing a knock: “He arrived injured and was injured I believe for the first month.
“The Europa League matches were helping him to get his condition.
“Europa League group phase is a different level than the Premier League - the [Europa League] knockout is a different story, but the group phase is a different intensity.
“The Premier League he didn't play many minutes, [then] another small injury at Stoke [in the Carabao Cup] where he was having a good first half.
“[It's] not an easy process. Everybody knew that in the past couple of seasons in Madrid, they were not easy for him, so let's go step by step and try to get the best out of him.”
Bale did step off the bench in Spurs’ 5-0 win over Marine in the third-round of the FA Cup and will be hoping to figure more prominently over the coming weeks as Mourinho’s men seek to establish the momentum that will fire them into contention for the Premier League title – with a place already booked in the Carabao Cup final.