'Bale is a Real Madrid player' - Pochettino steers around Tottenham return talk

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Speculation continues to suggest that the Wales international will be leaving Spain this summer, with a second spell in north London being mooted

Mauricio Pochettino has refused to be drawn on speculation suggesting that Gareth Bale could be heading back to Tottenham from Real Madrid.

The Wales international’s future in Spain continues to be called into question.

He has fallen out of favour under Zinedine Zidane, who is likely to add to his attacking options in the summer, with Eden Hazard likely to make the switch to the Bernabeu.

A move elsewhere has been mooted for the 29-year-old, with a retracing of his steps to the Premier League considered to be the most likely option.

It has even been suggested that Madrid could sanction a loan move in order to get Bale off their books.

Spurs, along with Manchester United, have been talked up as sides that could help Bale rediscover his spark.

Pochettino is, however, not about to be drawn into a debate regarding his recruitment plans and whether Bale figures in them.

Quizzed by El Chiringuito TV on links to a man who previously spent six years in north London between 2007 and 2013, the Argentine coach said: “He’s a Real Madrid player.

“But we have a good relationship. We played against him last year. I have good references about him.

“Everyone has a fond memory of him here, just like they do at Southampton.

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“He still has three years on his contract at Madrid. It’s a situation that isn’t easy for him and isn’t easy for the club.”

A number of famous faces with strong ties to Tottenham have been quick to talk up a second spell at the club for Bale.

Former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp believes he would be a shrewd addition to Pochettino’s squad, while Mido believes familiar surroundings can bring the best out of a player who remains world class despite his recent struggles in the Spanish capital.

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