Gareth Bale has revealed the prospect of playing under Jose Mourinho was instrumental in his blockbuster return to Tottenham.
The 31-year-old sealed an emotional Spurs homecoming on Saturday in a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid, seven years after leaving for the Spanish giants in an £86m deal – a world-record fee at the time.
Bale said he is looking forward to an attacking partnership with Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son after holding talks with Mourinho around his role on the pitch.
“He’s spoken to me about a few positions that he would like me to play and obviously I’m happy with that,” Bale told BT Sport.
“He was a big reason for me coming back here, he’s a household name and a winner. He’s the perfect fit for Tottenham. We need to win trophies and he knows how to do that better than anyone.”
He added: “Harry’s done incredibly well since he burst onto the scene and scored a lot of goals. To play with him and Son is an exciting prospect for all of us. If we’re all pushing in the same direction it could be a very exciting season.”
Bale’s contentious exit from Real Madrid, where he won La Liga twice and the Champions League four times, was marked with a short statement from the club.
“Our club wishes the best of luck to a player who is part of one of the most successful periods of our history,” it read.
- Tottenham signs Real Madrid defender, Sergio Reguilon on a five-year deal
- Tottenham signs Real Madrid forward, Gareth Bale on loan for the season
The Wales captain had a roller-coaster time in Spain, scoring vital goals for the club in cup finals but falling out of favour under head coach Zinedine Zidane.
However, despite a turbulent time, he says he holds no grudges.
“I’ve enjoyed it, I loved living there,” Bale said. “There’s ups and downs at every club, wherever you go. The highs have been incredibly high and the lows have been very low.
“I enjoyed achieving what we achieved but it’s time for the next chapter in my career. I want to continue to win trophies and I want to do it with Tottenham. I spoke to my wife and we felt like it was the right fit and the right time.”
Despite the excitement caused by Bale’s return, the forward will not be able to return to action for at least a month after his medical confirmed a knee injury he picked up during international duty earlier in September.
That means his second Spurs debut may come in the Premier League game against West Ham on October 17 at the earliest.
“I need to get fully fit,” he said. “I haven’t trained since the Wales camp so I need to get on the training pitch. Hopefully I can hit the ground running in my first game, whenever that may be.”