Thibaut Courtois wishes Gareth Bale well at Tottenham, but Real Madrid’s former Chelsea goalkeeper is eager to point out that the Welshman will not be representing “the good London team”.
After seven years at Santiago Bernabeu, a familiar face is back in north London.
Spurs have re-signed Bale on a season-long loan, with the 31-year-old being offered the chance to put his recent struggles in Spain behind him.
That agreement is considered to be beneficial to all concerned, with form and fitness issues having become a sticking point in Madrid for a man who was once the most expensive player on the planet.
Courtois believes Bale will thrive back in the Premier League, with his ability without question, but a keeper with strong ties to those at Stamford Bridge has welcomed the opportunity to have a sly dig at a departed team-mate.
The Belgium international joked to El Larguero: “What Bale talked about with the coach is personal.
“I don't know what he thought, but then they are decisions that each one makes.
“I had a good relationship with Gareth and I wish him the best of luck this year, even if he's not playing for the good London team.
“He is a great player.”
Bale made a move over the summer after slipping out of favour at Real under Zinedine Zidane.
He is now working under former Blancos boss Jose Mourinho at Tottenham, with plenty tipping him to make an immediate impact back on British soil.
Peter Crouch is among those to have talked up the talents of an enigmatic performer, with a former team-mate of Bale confident that a proven winner remains as hungry as ever despite the success he has enjoyed in Spain.
“He’s won more Champions Leagues than Manchester United and he has got no financial worries but, trust me, he is as hungry as ever,” Crouch told the Daily Mail.
“All he wanted was to be happy again and now that he is, he’ll bang goals in left, right and centre.
“Fair play to Tottenham for pulling their finger out, as there was interest in Gareth from other clubs.
“I’m not going to say this is a fairytale but it is a piece of business that has left everyone involved — player, club, supporters — delighted. I hope it comes up trumps.”
Bale, who returned to Tottenham nursing a knee problem, could come into contention for a second debut for the club when Mourinho’s men take in a derby date with West Ham on Sunday.