Zinedine Zidane said Gareth Bale has been "spectacular" for Real Madrid while confirming that the club are in talks with Tottenham over a transfer, before wishing him well in the next chapter of his career.
Bale is reportedly close to sealing a return to Spurs after seven years at Santiago Bernabeu, having been deemed surplus to requirements ahead of the new season.
The Wales international has won two La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns during his time with the Blancos, scoring 105 goals in 251 appearances, but his commitment to the club's cause has been questioned in recent seasons.
- Best Lionel Messi goals of all time: From Clasico crackers to Champions League solo efforts
- Yorkshire Terriers: Inside 25 years of the oldest team in Britain's LGBTQ+ league
- Dylan Williams: The Ashley Cole superfan making waves at Chelsea
- Messi's birthday: Argentina legend's top 10 best games for his country as he turns 35
The 31-year-old was restricted to just 16 outings in the Spanish top flight last season after a proposed move to China fell through in the summer of 2019, and he made headlines for his antics on the bench post-lockdown while cutting an awkward figure during the squad's title celebrations.
Bale recently claimed that Madrid stopped him from leaving the club last year, but the winger's agent has confirmed that he is now on the verge of making his way back to the Premier League .
"Gareth still loves Spurs," Jonathan Barnett told BBC Sport . "We are talking [Spurs, Real and Bale's camp]. It's where he wants to be."
The Madrid outcast is expected to re-join Tottenham on an initial loan deal in the coming days and although Zidane insists a deal has yet to be finalised, he has admitted that the two clubs are currently engaged in advanced negotiations.
The Frenchman told a press conference on Saturday: "I haven't spoken with Bale. I know what he has done in this team. He has been spectacular for this team, nobody can say otherwise. There are negotiations. If he moves, we only wish him well."
It has been suggested that Zidane and Bale haven't seen eye-to-eye at Madrid over the past four years, but the Blancos boss insists that there is no underlying issue between the two men.
He added: "I've not had any problems with Gareth. The situation is not firm, it's not done, I cannot say more. Gareth is a our player for the moment and the issue is still to be closed."
Zidane also confirmed that Sergio Reguilon will move to Tottenham on a permanent deal, while insisting that the Spaniard deserves the opportunity to prove himself in the Premier League after a successful loan spell at Sevilla.
"We must congratulate Reguilon on the season he had," he said. "We have two players per position and I already have two full-backs. I wish him all the best because he had a good season in Seville and he deserves to be at Tottenham."
The Madrid legend was speaking ahead of his side's La Liga opener against Real Sociedad on Sunday, with Eden Hazard in line to return after recovering from an ankle injury.
Zidane appeared to rule out bringing the Belgian back into his starting line up though, hinting he needs more time to get back up to full speed.
Quizzed on Hazard's potential involvement at the Anoeta, the Madrid manager responded: "I don't know when he'll be fine. He's better and what we want, him more than anyone, is for him to be 100%, without any problems. We have time."