Gareth Bale Photo: VCG
“Coming into the Euro I wanted to be in good shape,” Gareth Bale told the media after joining the Wales squad for the international break. “The original plan was to play Spurs for a season and after the Euro there is still a year left for Real Madrid.
“My plan is to go back, it’s as far as I expected.”
The question is not what Bale has planned, but what Real Madrid have planned, which would be the pursuit of PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Braut Haaland.
Zidane is no fan of Bale and the Welshman has barely featured in the past two seasons, set to sign for Chinese Super League team Jiangsu.
Spurs reportedly wanted to extend the loan which saw their prodigal son return, but there is no deal to extend the loan by a season and Real Madrid would surely want to renegotiate the current contract which sees Spurs paying around the half of the attacker’s 600,000 pounds a week. .
“Gareth is a player on loan until the end of the season. Not a second to talk,” Spurs boss Jose Mourinho said in January.
“We are of course talking about Gareth himself, Real Madrid and Tottenham, but I promise you, not a second of discussion.”
Mourinho spoke again earlier this month.
“About this you should contact your colleagues in Madrid and they should ask Zidane as he is a Real Madrid player,” Mourinho told the media.
“He’s not a Tottenham player, so Real Madrid have it all in their hands. They have a player with a one-year contract and have the power in their hands.
“I just had a player on loan and I’m trying to get the most out of the Tottenham Hotspur player.
“We try to take care of the player we loaned for us but also respect the club that loaned the player.
“If you want to ask questions about Gareth’s future, ask your colleagues in Madrid to ask Zidane.”
Bale for his part has always wanted to return to the Spanish capital.
“He still loves Madrid,” Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett told the Goal news site last month.
“He doesn’t have any problems with the club, he’s a wonderful club. It wouldn’t be a problem [for him to return]. They just have to decide if they need him, if he can play for Madrid and all that stuff. I guess you have to ask Mr Zidane if he wants it, I don’t think so. “
Bale was adamant that his future at club level would have no impact on his country’s World Cup qualifiers.
“There are no distractions for me,” Bale said when asked.
“I think the main reason I came to Spurs this year was to play football first and foremost.”
“I always think when things aren’t going so well at your club it’s good to walk away,” Bale added. “On a mental level it can certainly be an advantage to move away from the club environment.
“Certainly that can be an advantage. We are focusing on these games for Wales, which are very important to us. We are forgetting club life and focusing on that.”
Bale has been in great shape in recent weeks and several clubs will apply for his signature if he becomes available this summer. Is he back to his best?
“Time will tell,” Bale told Sky Sports after scoring twice in a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace in the English Premier League earlier this month. “I’m not 21 anymore. That’s how it is.
“I’m just going to keep working hard every game, taking every game as it comes, and we’ll go from there.
“Your body changes over time. You don’t have that kind of youth where you can recover quickly and keep sprinting for 90 minutes.
“You learn your body as you get older and that’s what I have to do. I feel good. It takes a little while sometimes, but I have enough experience to be patient. That’s what it is. .
“You have to feel good, and you have to feel good then to seize your opportunities.
“Football is a strange thing; you can go through bad form and good form. It’s just a matter of being patient, and when you have the chance, try to grab it.”
His luck in the immediate future is with Wales and his return to the World Cup for the first time in six decades.
“At the start of my career in Wales, the main thing was to play in a major tournament. We managed to do that and now, to be able to tick everything off the list, that would be qualifying for a World Cup,” the 31-year-old said. -old said.
“We don’t just want to qualify for one or two tournaments, but we want to continue to qualify and make sure we push Wales in the right direction. For me, qualifying for a World Cup would be amazing.”
This dream will be helped by the provision of a fit ball.
“In the last few years this is probably the best physical shape I have had.
But it’s still a dream, something Bale is well aware of.
“Obviously, realistically, that won’t happen, but why not?
“I remember playing in Ireland [in 2018 World Cup qualification]. I was in the stands and it was very frustrating, I felt like I was kicking every ball.
“It was obviously difficult after the game to see the defeat and the dream of qualifying for the World Cup come to an end.
“I hope we can build on those experiences in a positive way and use that pain to push us even harder this time around.
“This may be the last time my generation has the opportunity to qualify for a World Cup.
“We haven’t done this as a country for a long time and it’s something the players dream of doing. We will give everything we can to do it.”