Tottenham Hotspur are expected to announce the return of Gareth Bale to the club over the weekend, seven years after the Welshman departed North London in favour of a move to Madrid for a then world record fee of £85m.
Bale completed his medical and mandatory Covid-19 test in Madrid before landing at Luton Airport yesterday, where his arrival at the club’s training ground in Enfield was greeted by Spurs fans
As the Welsh international falls under the category of elite sportsman, Bale is exempt from the isolation rules of normal travellers and so would be eligible for selection right away – but it appears Spurs fans will have to wait a while yet. The 31-year old is dealing with a knee injury after playing the full 90 minutes as Wales defeated Bulgaria 1-0 in the Nations League, and although the injury will not get in the way of any deal with Tottenham, it will certainly delay his return to the pitch.
The injury will likely see the winger make his debut in mid-October at the earliest, and Jose Mourinho will be keen to utilise him as soon as possible. The Portuguese is a known admirer of Bale, and attempted to sign him whilst the Spurs manager was at Old Trafford.
Tottenham have agreed to pay a percentage of Bale’s wages – around 40% of his £600,000-a-week before tax salary – and could extend the deal for longer than the current season if his return to North London is a success in 2020/21. It was reported last night that Spurs would have the option for a second year on loan, which would run into 2022 and take Bale to the end of his contract with the Spanish giants. However, Real Madrid President Florentino Perez is a renowned fan of Bale and, despite the fallout between the player and manager Zinedine Zidane, he has left the door open for a potential return if the Welshman rediscovers his form in North London.
Bale scored 42 Premier League goals for Spurs during his five years at the club, and was named Player of the Year for the league in his final campaign. His arrival on loan from Real Madrid – where the Welsh international won four UEFA Champions League titles – will inject optimism and excitement into the club, as well as quality, after a fairly quiet window. Bale’s move could mean the likes of Serge Aurier, Erik Lamela and Ryan Sessegnon will be shown the door to fund the deal, as well as other imminent moves like the winger’s Madrid teammate, Sergio Reguilon, who also arrived at Enfield yesterday to complete a permanent transfer.