Bale’s Mourinho comments unearthed as Tottenham hijack Man Utd transfer

Tottenham are leading Manchester United in the race to seal a stunning Premier League return for Gareth Bale.

The 31-year-old is close to ending his spell with Real Madrid, with a move back to England's top-flight the most likely.

Despite winning four Champions League titles in Madrid, his relationship with Zinedine Zidane appears beyond repair and he was barely involved in the closing weeks of last season.

It has been claimed that the La Liga champions are willing to pay a portion of his £600,000-per-week wages, as well as selling him for a cut-price fee, in order to strike a deal this summer.

Manchester United made the first move over the weekend, as their plan to sign Jadon Sancho looks dead in the water.

But Spurs are willing to guarantee Bale first-team football under Jose Mourinho, with his agent Jonathan Barnett confirming that is his preferred move.

“Gareth still loves Spurs,” Barnett told BBC Sport Wales. “We are talking. It’s where he wants to be.”

According to ESPN, Mourinho has been warned about Bale's injury problems and general decline at the Bernabeu, but is happy to sanction a move for the winger, who left Spurs for Madrid in an £83m deal in 2013.

The Spurs boss believes Bale can ease the goalscoring burden on Harry Kane, with the likes of Heung-Min Son and Dele Ali struggling in front of goal in recent matches.

And the respect certainly appears to be mutual, after Bale's verdict on Mourinho's appointment have re-emerged.

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Bale was asked about the Portuguese replacing Mauricio Pochettino at the back end of last year and declared the pairing an 'amazing statement'.

He told BT Sport: "Having Mourinho there is an amazing statement from the club, I think he's a serial winner.

"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.”

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