Gareth Bale has clarified his comments on his future ahead of the expiry of his Tottenham loan deal, insisting that his contract means he “legally” must return to Real Madrid at first.
Bale is heading towards the end of a season-long loan spell at Spurs, who do not have the option to sign him outright from Madrid at the end of the season.
The Welshman made headlines last week after revealing he is planning to return to Santiago Bernabeu, but has now explained that he has yet to make a final decision on where he will play in 2021-22.
What’s been said?
Speaking ahead of Wales’ 2020 World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic on Tuesday, Bale told reporters: “I think for me, first and foremost I still have this season, and I still have plenty of games to go for the Euros.
“Obviously, going into next season, legally my contract says I have to go back to Real Madrid, which is what I stated, which I don’t think is being disrespectful to anybody. That’s legally what I have to do.
“Real Madrid are my parent club and as far as I agreed I was with Tottenham on loan until the end of the season and I go back. That’s the plan so far.”
What is Madrid’s stance on Bale?
Bale was frozen out of Zinedine Zidane’s Madrid squad last season, and he cut an awkward figure during their La Liga title celebrations after being forced to watch most of the club’s games from the stands.
The Blancos were happy to sanction the 31-year-old’s temporary departure to Tottenham, however, he is still under contract at the Bernabeu until 2022.
Zidane paid tribute to Bale for his “spectacular” contribution to Madrid’s cause and wished him well before he re-joined Spurs, but it has been reported that the winger is not in his plans for next season.
What has Bale’s agent said about his situation?
Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett shed some light on the Wales international’s situation during an interview with Goal in February.
Barnett claimed Bale would no issue with picking up from where he left off at Madrid, but also conceded that Zidane is unlikely to welcome him back with open arms.
“He still loves Madrid,” said the 71-year-old. “He hasn’t problems with the club, it’s a wonderful club. It wouldn’t be a problem [for him to return].
“They just have to decide if they need him back, if he can play for Madrid and all these things. I guess you have to ask Mr. Zidane if he wants him, I don’t think so.”
How has Bale performed for Spurs this season?
Bale took time to build up his fitness again at Tottenham after so many months on the sidelines, but Jose Mourinho has gradually handed him more responsibility as the season has progressed.
The Madrid loanee has scored 10 goals in 25 games across all competitions to date, including four in his last three Premier League outings, striking up a profitable partnership with Harry Kane in the process.