Gareth Bale spoke positively of Jose Mourinho back in December, it has been reminded, as speculation of a return to Tottenham continues.
The Wales winger has fallen to the fringes at Real Madrid in recent years, with his stock having fallen since he joined them from Spurs for what was then a world record fee in 2013.
Bale has openly admitted that he would be happy to return to the Premier League, after hitting out at his current club for blocking his departure in previous transfer windows.
Speaking of a potential Premier League return earlier this month, he said: “If those options arise then I’d look at it for sure.
“We have plenty of time in this transfer window and I guess a couple of others as well. Time will tell.”
Manchester United have been linked with the winger, who could be a cheaper alternative to Jadon Sancho.
However, a sensational return to Tottenham could now be on the cards instead, as Bale looks to finally leave the La Liga champions.
And Bale has clearly been keeping an eye on his former club for a long time, as seen by some comments he made about Jose Mourinho late last year.
Mourinho took over from Mauricio Pochettino last November, eventually guiding the club to Europa League qualification after a difficult start to the season.
And the Express have unearthed quotes from Bale shortly after Mourinho’s appointment.
“Having Mourinho there is an amazing statement from the club, I think he’s a serial winner,” he said at the time.
“Tottenham want to win trophies and I don’t think there’s a better partnership than Mourinho and Tottenham together to try and win some trophies.”
If Bale does seal his sensational return to Spurs, it would be the first time he has played under Mourinho.
The pair almost crossed paths at Real Madrid in 2013, but Mourinho had already left the club a few months before Bale’s arrival.
Alli could make way for Bale
There is still work to do for Tottenham to finalise a deal for Bale, whose wages would make the deal financially complicated.
One way Spurs could facilitate the deal would be to send Dele Alli in the opposite direction, according to the Telegraph.
The pair could switch places on loan, with Madrid helping Spurs by paying part of Bale’s salary.