Bale planning Madrid return after Spurs loan

Gareth Bale has said he intends to return to Real Madrid once his loan spell at Tottenham Hotspur expires this summer.

The Wales captain re-joined Spurs on a season-long loan in September in search of regular playing time, having moved from the north London side to the Bernabeu for then world-record £85 million fee in 2013.

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“It’s [future] no distraction for me coming into the Euros,” Bale told a news conference on Tuesday ahead of Wales’ opening 2022 World Cup qualifier in Belgium.

“I think the main reason I came to Spurs this year was to play football first and foremost but going into the Euros, I want to be match-fit.

“The original plan was to do a season at Spurs and after the Euros still have a year left at Real Madrid. My plan is to go back and that’s as far I’ve planned to be honest.”

Bale started just 14 matches in the 2019-20 campaign for Madrid and tension with coach Zinedine Zidane, Madrid supporters and the press, saw him return to Spurs on loan.

The deal between the clubs did not include an option or obligation for Spurs to buy Bale this summer.

Bale, 31, struggled with form and fitness upon his return but has recently shown glimpses of his best form leading to suggestions that Tottenham could extend his loan spell for a further campaign.

He has scored 10 goals in 25 appearances for the Jose Mourinho’s side this season and his contract at the Bernabeu runs out in June 2022.

Spurs are sixth in the Premier League but the club’s surprise elimination from the Europa League in Croatia last week sparked a sudden round of speculation about the future of Mourinho.

Bale added that getting away on international duty with Wales came at just the right time.

“I always think that when things aren’t going so well at the club it’s nice to get away, especially mentally to get away from the club environment,” he said.

“Definitely it can be a benefit. The first thing we do now is to focus on these couple of games for Wales, which is very important for us, and forget club life.”

Wales begin their bid to qualify for a first World Cup since 1958 at top-ranked Belgium on Wednesday and then play Mexico in a friendly in Cardiff on Saturday, followed by another World Cup qualifier at home to the Czech Republic next Tuesday.

Information from Reuters was included in this report.