Tottenham are closing in on a deal to bring Gareth Bale back to the club as Jose Mourinho finally looks like getting his wish.
Spurs have been in discussions to sign the 31-year-old from Real Madrid seven years after he left for a then-world record fee and all three parties are keen for the move to happen, with the Daily Mail reporting the deal is already done.
It would mean that Mourinho would finally get to work with a player he tried to sign twice previously, first when he was in charge at the Bernabeu and then when at Manchester United.
Asked whether he tried to take Bale to Old Trafford, Mourinho said: “Even before that I tried to sign him for Real Madrid which was not possible to do during my time there.
“But the president followed my instinct and my knowledge and the season I left he brought Gareth to the club.
“There is no secret on that. Even Gareth knows that. But I’m not going to speak about him anymore because he is a Real Madrid player.”
Mourinho was tight-lipped about the prospect of working with him when he was questioned ahead of Tottenham’s Europa League qualifier against Bulgarian outfit Lokomotiv Plovdiv.
He said: “Gareth Bale is a Real Madrid player and I don’t comment on players from other clubs.
“That is not my job to have contacts with agents. I don’t want to comment on that. I don’t comment on hypothetical stuff.
“Again, I repeat, I’m not going to comment on Gareth Bale, a Real Madrid player. I have to respect that.”
The move for Bale is not the only business being completed between the two clubs as left-back Sergio Reguilon is set for a medical on Thursday ahead of a reported £27.5million transfer.
Spurs are taking a strong squad to Bulgaria but Dele Alli has been left at home as speculation surrounding his future intensifies.
The 24-year-old was taken off at half-time of Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Everton after a disappointing display.
Reports suggested Alli could be used as a makeweight in the Bale move, but that does not appear to be the case and the club are expecting him to still to be in north London after the transfer window shuts.