LONDON (Reuters) – Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho refused to confirm on Wednesday (Sept 16) whether the north London club were in talks to resign Gareth Bale from Real Madrid but said he tried to sign him when he was still a Spurs player.
Bale’s agent said on Tuesday that both clubs and the Welsh winger’s camp were discussing a potential arrangement which would see the 31-year-old return to the Premier League after seven years with the Spanish champions.
Mourinho said he tried to sign Bale when he was in charge of Real Madrid from 2010 to 2013.
The Wales international was also regularly linked with a move to Manchester United when Mourinho was at the helm at Old Trafford.
“Gareth Bale is a Real Madrid player and I don’t talk about players from other clubs,” Mourinho told reporters ahead of Thursday’s Europa League qualifier against Bulgarian side Lokomotiv Plovdiv.
“It’s not my job to have contact with agents and I don’t want to comment. I don’t comment on hypothetical stuff.
“I tried to sign him during my time at Real Madrid and the president followed my instinct and knowledge and the season I left, he brought Gareth to the club. That’s no secret and Gareth knows that.”
Bale had said earlier this month that he would be open to a move back to the Premier League if Real Madrid sanctioned a transfer.
Spurs have also been linked with Real left back Sergio Reguilon, with British media reporting the 23-year-old Spain international is set to make the switch for €30 million (S$48.2 million).
Mourinho added that he has informed club chairman Daniel Levy about his transfer plans “three or four times” and that players could also leave Spurs before the transfer window closes on Oct 5.
“A squad is a puzzle and when a new signing completes the puzzle it’s great for the team,” the Portuguese manager added.
“Three more weeks, the market is open both ways. I think in football you have to be always waiting for something to happen. Let’s see what happens to us. I never liked to start the competition with an open transfer window.”