Tottenham have confirmed the signing of Sergio Reguilon from Real Madrid.

The left-back's arrival completes the first part of an expected double swoop by Jose Mourinho's side on the Spanish giants, with Gareth Bale set to seal a sensational return to the club.

Reguilon starred on loan with Sevilla last season, helping the club to Europa League success and a fourth-place finish in LaLiga.

His form earned Reguilon a first senior cap for Spain earlier this month amid reported interest from Manchester United, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

However, Tottenham have won the race for the 23-year-old's signature in a transfer that could reportedly be worth £32million (€35.6m), while Madrid are thought to have inserted a buy-back clause into the deal.

Sevilla were also in the running to sign Reguilon but accepted defeat in their pursuit earlier this week, instead bringing in Marcos Acuna from Sporting CP.

Gareth Bale's return to Tottenham is yet to be finalised, according to Zinedine Zidane, who hailed the Wales international's "spectacular" contribution to Real Madrid.

Bale's loan move to Tottenham, who he left to join Madrid in 2013, is expected to be confirmed after he flew to London on Friday and was seen entering the Premier League club's training ground.

The 31-year-old was an increasingly marginalised figure under Zidane as Madrid won LaLiga last season, cutting quite the contrast to his goalscoring turns in the 2014 and 2018 Champions League finals.

An apparent breakdown in relations with his coach has been accepted as the main reason for Bale seeking an exit from the Spanish capital but, speaking ahead of the start of his side's LaLiga defence at Real Sociedad, Zidane insisted there was no personality clash.

"I'm not annoyed that people are blaming me for his departure because it's not like that," the France great told a Saturday news conference.

"The matter is more complicated than that. What I can say is that we didn't have any problems between us.

"No one is going to take away what he's done at Real Madrid. We didn't have any problems, it wasn't like that.

"I wish him the best. I haven't spoken to him. What he's done here has been phenomenal - you can't dispute that because he's won a lot and shown his quality."

The lack of confirmation of Bale's signing has caused a measure of anxiety among the Tottenham fanbase and Zidane suggested there are still some details to be ironed out.

"For now, Bale is one of our players," he said "The matter still has to be finalised.

"We're not going to talk about things that don't make sense. Bale has been spectacular."

Sergio Regulion is another player set to move from Madrid to Spurs, having travelled alongside Bale.

The left-back's impressive season on loan with Europa League winners Sevilla was not enough to earn another chance at the Santiago Bernabeu, despite a poll run by newspaper Marca revealing 70 per cent of fans wanted him to stay.

"The first thing I have to do is congratulate him on last season," Zidane said.

"We have two players for each position - no more. I have two left-backs and I can't have more because then it's a lot.

"I wish him the best because he had a good season at Sevilla."

Andrea Pirlo was untouchable at the height of his playing career, a footballer whose grace and prowling presence drew widespread admiration and struck fear into rival teams.

As a coach, we can surmise but really it is a guessing game as to what we will be getting from Pirlo as the dugout rookie leads Juventus into the 2020-21 season.

On Sunday evening in Italy, the man who was a World Cup winner in 2006 takes charge of his first Serie A game with Juve, who play Sampdoria in Turin.

Maurizio Sarri's Juve reign lasted just one season, albeit another Scudetto-yielding campaign for the most successful club in the league's history. Pirlo will be expected to deliver at least that level of success, and encourage a swagger too.

He joins a host of significant former players plucked for leadership roles at an elite level, typically on a hunch rooted in familiarity, the chosen ones often still fresh from their playing days and with scant experience to call on. Top marks in coaching exams provide no guarantee that success will follow.

Many times, the gamble on a colt coach has paid off, with presidents and owners rightly sensing the novice harbours the innate expertise to lead and to inspire, and crucially to bring results. On other occasions, it has ended in frustration and tears, and in some instances the jury remains out.

Here is a look at just some of those cases, illustrating how there are no guarantees attached to such appointments.

PEP GUARDIOLA

The go-to example for any club that wishes to justify appointing a club legend to sudden seniority on the coaching side, former midfield general Guardiola was just 37 when he took charge at Barcelona in 2008, after a year coaching the B team. He departed four years and 14 trophies later, including three LaLiga titles and two Champions League triumphs, and was vaunted as the world's best coach.

Further successes have come with Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Plainly, Pep was born to lead and Barcelona were wise to the fact.

ZINEDINE ZIDANE

How would Zidane, the mercurial playmaker – the only rival to Brazil striker Ronaldo when assessing the greatest player of their generation – take to coaching? Could the erstwhile Galactico tease out the best from those who can but dream of matching the twinkling feet and god-gifted balance with which he was blessed? Could the former Real Madrid maestro really be a suitable fit for the Bernabeu job that has swallowed up many an experienced coach?

Three Champions Leagues and two LaLiga titles later, we probably have a decent idea of the answer to those questions. There have still been ups and downs, and a brief split along the way, but 18 months in charge of Madrid's B team – Castilla – hardened Zidane for the obstacles he would face in the top job. His Madrid sides have at times lacked the verve that was his signature as a player, but they have delivered results and abundant trophies, and ultimately that is what counts.

MICHEL PLATINI

Before there was Zidane, France had Platini. A wonder of an attacking midfielder with Nancy, Saint-Etienne and Juventus, Platini was also a goalscoring titan of the France team that won Euro 84 and reached semi-finals at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups. It followed, to those that knew him, that Platini would go on to become a great national-team coach too, and at the age of 33 he was appointed to lead France, having retired as a player a year earlier. Platini took over with France already at a low ebb and defeats under his charge against Yugoslavia and Scotland meant they missed out on reaching the 1990 World Cup.

Could Platini bounce back? It seemed he might when France reached Euro 92 in style, with eight wins from eight qualifiers, Platini nurturing the likes of Didier Deschamps and Laurent Blanc, but Les Bleus flopped at the tournament itself as they and England bowed out of a group from which Sweden and Denmark advanced. Platini resigned not long afterwards, began to forge a solid reputation in football administration, and by the late 1990s had built a strong, ultimately fateful, alliance with the then FIFA secretary general Sepp Blatter. He would never coach again.

DIEGO MARADONA

If there were ever a case of being blinded by celebrity, then some of the presidents who have given Diego Armando Maradona coaching work surely have fallen victim. The biggest star of his generation, Maradona retired from playing in 1997 and, with barely a sniff of coaching experience and just about as much baggage as an airport carousel, was named boss of his native Argentina in 2008, tasked with taking the Albicelestes to the World Cup two years later. Argentina scraped their way into the finals and were thumped 4-0 by Germany in the quarter-finals. Maradona's contract was not renewed.

He has continued to pick up coaching work, one curious-looking appointment after another, most recently with Gimnasia in the Argentinian top flight. Maradona the coach has been no match for Maradona the player, and it was naive surely for anyone to think that was ever remotely possible.

FRANK LAMPARD

Pirlo was an artist of the 21st century game, and he is considered a deep thinker, while the common theory is that English midfield counterpart Lampard achieved much of his success through hard graft and maximising his rather more rudimentary talent. Whether either categorisation fits the bill is a moot point, but Lampard has a wiser head on his shoulders than many footballers, was top of the class in his school days, and his IQ is reputed to be through the roof.

Derby County gave him a first break in coaching but it took Chelsea just a year to pounce and parachute Lampard into his first Premier League manager's job. A Stamford Bridge great as a player, Lampard had an acceptable first season as Blues boss but the acid test comes in this new term after a spree of big-money signings. A high-stakes London gamble will play out in the coming months.

ALAN SHEARER

As Pirlo takes charge of those in the Bianconeri stripes he once wore – Cristiano Ronaldo and all – it bears remembering that returning black and white messiahs can fail. Former Newcastle United striker Shearer returned to St James' Park in April 2009, the club's record goalscorer aiming to rescue the team from the threat of relegation, but a dismal return of five points from eight games saw them sink out of the Premier League.

Shearer left and has not coached since, happily staying in his niche as a television pundit. There are pressures but also a certain comfort to that studio role. Two months at Newcastle was the sum of Shearer's coaching career: as Pirlo may yet find out, that can be all it takes to destroy the notion of it being a natural next step.

Liverpool's transfer activity is ramping up.

After securing the services of Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara, Diogo Jota is reportedly next on the list.

Could there be more arrivals?

 

TOP STORY – JOTA LIVERPOOL BOUND

Premier League champions Liverpool are set to complete the signing of Wolves star Diogo Jota, according to Goal.

Liverpool announced the arrival of Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich on Friday as they look to retain their Premier League crown in 2020-21.

Now, Jurgen Klopp's men are poised to bring former Atletico Madrid forward Jota to Anfield amid widespread speculation.

 

ROUND-UP

- RMC claims Porto full-back Alex Telles has agreed terms with Manchester United over a five-year deal. However, Paris Saint-Germain are also considering a move for the 27-year-old Brazilian following Juan Bernat's knee injury.

- Liverpool have enquired about Schalke star Ozan Kabak, reports Chris Williams. Bundesliga strugglers Schalke are reluctant to sell the 20-year-old centre-back.

Atletico Madrid are finalising a deal for Bayern Munich utility Javier Martinez, says Marca. Martinez played for Athletic Bilbao before joining Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern in 2012.

- The Daily Mail claims Manchester City are eyeing Sevilla defender Jules Kounde as an alternative to Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly. Pep Guardiola's City have been tipped to sign Koulibaly, though they have struggled to find an agreement with Napoli as PSG reportedly circle.

Milan have overtaken Barcelona in the race to sign Lyon captain Memphis Depay, according to Sky Italia. Tipped to reunite with former Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman at Barca, Depay could now join Milan in a swap deal involving Lucas Paqueta.

- The front page of Saturday's Mundo Deportivo says Barca are looking to sell Nelson Semedo to fund new arrivals, with Ajax sensation and Bayern target Sergino Dest, City defender Eric Garcia and Depay wanted.

- Goal confirmed Juventus are working to bring Everton forward Moise Kean back to Turin in addition to signing Roma's Edin Dzeko. Juve are interested in a loan deal, though Everton are asking for a permanent transfer or loan with an obligation to buy.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard expects "incredible" Gareth Bale to give Tottenham a major boost if he secures a return to the Premier League club.

Bale left Spurs for Real Madrid in 2013 for a then-world record fee of €100milion (£85m) and he went on to enjoy huge success in Spain.

But the past few years have been tumultuous for the Welshman and he finally appears set to leave Madrid in favour of a return to Spurs, having already arrived in London to complete a deal alongside Sergio Reguilon, a team-mate of his at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Bale developed into one of the Premier League's best players during his first spell with Spurs, during which time he regularly played against Lampard.

And, presuming the deal goes through without a hitch, Lampard believes Chelsea's potential top-four rivals are getting one of the world's finest players.

"Gareth Bale is an incredible player, an incredible individual talent who we remember very well from his Premier League days and the successes he's had at Real Madrid," Lampard told reporters on Friday.

"If he does go to Tottenham, which I keep seeing is going to happen, then I think he'll be a big addition to their squad.

"Of course, they've got very good individuals at Tottenham, they're a team that's expected to challenge in the Champions League places and above.

"They have fantastic individuals and if they get Gareth Bale they'll have another for sure. He's one of the best players in the world in my opinion over the last four or five seasons."

 

Gareth Bale touched down at London Luton airport on Friday to finalise his sensational return to Tottenham, with Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Reguilon also on board.

The Wales star left Spurs for the Spanish capital seven years ago for what was then a world-record fee and has gone on to win the Champions League four times and LaLiga twice with Madrid.

However, the forward found himself increasingly on the periphery of the first team under Zinedine Zidane and is now on the brink of a return to his old club.

Bale was filmed arriving at an airport about 30 miles away from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Friday afternoon, with full-back Reguilon for company as he too looks primed to join Jose Mourinho's men.

Los Blancos stumped up €100milion (£85m) to sign Bale in 2013 after several outstanding seasons at White Hart Lane.

During his seven years at Madrid, Bale scored 105 goals and contributed 57 assists in 251 appearances, but he has been on borrowed time for a while under Zidane.

He will hope to recapture the stunning form he showed when he was last with Spurs. Bale scored 55 goals in 203 matches for the club during his first stint and became a particularly influential member of the team in the 2010-11 season, having made a sedate start to his career at the club.

The 31-year-old was twice named as the PFA Player of the Year during his first spell at Spurs, the second time occurring in a 2012-13 campaign that saw him score 26 goals in 44 matches in all competitions and helped earn his big-money move to Madrid.

Spurs are certainly in need of a boost from somewhere, having been lacklustre in their Premier League opener, which saw Everton claim a 1-0 win.

A narrow victory over Lokomotiv Plovdiv in Europa League qualifying will have done little to boost optimism, with a trip to Southampton, where Bale began his professional career, coming up on Sunday.

Liverpool and Manchester United could be set for another transfer battle.

The Premier League rivals were both reportedly interested in Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who is set for a move to Anfield.

Now it seems they could be targeting the same player once more.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL, MAN UTD TARGET SARR

Liverpool have enquired about Watford star Ismaila Sarr, according to the Daily Mail.

It reports Watford want at least £36million for the 22-year-old forward, who scored five goals and provided four assists in 28 Premier League games last season.

Meanwhile, The Independent says Manchester United are looking at Sarr as they continue to be frustrated in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

 

ROUND-UP

- What is next for Luis Suarez? Goal reports Roma striker Edin Dzeko is set to join Juventus on a two-year deal, dashing Barcelona forward Suarez's hopes of heading to the Serie A champions. Fabrizio Romano says Atletico Madrid are considering a move for Suarez, while he also claims Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik is getting closer to a Roma switch.

- Gareth Bale's return to Tottenham is almost done. Sky Sports reports the Real Madrid attacker will fly to London from Spain on Friday after completing a medical, returning to Spurs after leaving for the LaLiga giants in 2013.

- Staying at Tottenham and The Sun claims Spurs had a transfer enquiry for forward Danny Ings rejected by Southampton. Ings enjoyed a prolific 2019-20 season, scoring 22 Premier League goals.

- After a difficult first season at Real Madrid, Luka Jovic is apparently considering his options. According to Marca, the Serbian forward is studying a temporary loan move from the LaLiga champions.

- At Madrid's rivals, Barcelona, more movement is also expected. Mundo Deportivo reports Ronald Koeman wants Ajax full-back Sergino Dest if Nelson Semedo leaves the club.

- Could Chelsea's spending spree continue? The Independent reports West Ham star Declan Rice is yet to decide whether to push for a move to Stamford Bridge, where the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva are new arrivals.

Mauricio Pochettino said he did not receive an offer to coach LaLiga giants Barcelona, while the former Tottenham boss insisted leading Real Madrid is his dream.

Pochettino was linked with Barca following Quique Setien's sacking before the embattled Spanish powerhouse opted for Ronald Koeman after a trophy-less 2019-20 campaign.

Argentine manager Pochettino, who departed Tottenham in November last year, was asked about the Barca speculation.

"They didn't offer me to coach Barca," he told Cope and Marca. "I didn't see myself with [president Josep Maria] Bartomeu.

"I did eat with Ramon Planes because we have a friendship for many years, since 2009 when he signed for Espanyol."

Pochettino had opened the door to potentially coaching Barca, having previously suggested he would not take charge at Camp Nou due to his links with rivals Espanyol.

"I was ironic then," Pochettino reflected. "It was my first news conference at Tottenham and they asked me about the Barca rumours. Then I answered with my irony and I think I went too far, I said what I said.

"It sounds very nice for the radical Espanyol fan but I did not want to speak for that radical fan. Nor do I have to justify any statement because no one can question my love for Espanyol."

Pochettino has also been linked with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, Serie A champions Juventus and Inter heading into the 2020-21 season.

Thomas Tuchel remains in charge of PSG, Juve turned to Andrea Pirlo and Inter have opted to continue with Antonio Conte.

"Neither PSG, nor Juventus, nor Inter Milan [made offers in the off-season]," Pochettino added. "I did have a call from Benfica and Monaco. I have no need to lie."

Pochettino shunned Madrid in 2018, deciding to honour his contract with Premier League side Tottenham at the time.

Madrid attempted to hire Pochettino as Zinedine Zidane's successor and asked about Los Blancos again, the 48-year-old said: "I don't know if I'll ever coach Madrid, but of course it's my dream.

"If it's not the best it's one of the best clubs in the world. I'm no different, everyone has it on their dream list."

Tottenham should make an ambitious bid to sign Luka Modric from Real Madrid alongside Gareth Bale, according to their former manager Harry Redknapp.

Redknapp was Spurs boss when they qualified for the Champions League with Modric and Bale in the team before both departed for Madrid.

The pair have proven hugely successful in Spain, winning Europe's elite club competition on four occasions.

But Bale, who scored in two Champions League finals for Madrid, has fallen out of favour in recent seasons at Madrid and is now in talks over a move back to Tottenham.

As Spurs thrash out the finer details in that blockbuster transfer, Redknapp urged chairman Daniel Levy to go back to the Santiago Bernabeu for a further shock swoop.

"I'd go and see if I could get Luka Modric back," he told Stats Perform News. "Take the pair of them, Bale and Modric.

"That would be a great coup. Luka is still a fantastic player. That would be amazing.

"I still feel they need somebody there; they've got the forward players, but they need somebody to supply the bullets.

"That's where someone like Luka Modric can play killer passes, into great movement up front. They lack a player like that."

While Redknapp remains concerned by Tottenham's midfield, the prospect of seeing Bale join Harry Kane and Son Heung-min in an attacking three excites him.

"That is a scary forward line," he said. "I could see them playing Harry central and Son and Gareth coming off the line and playing.

"I had a silly spell at Tottenham towards the end where I played Gareth on the right and the Tottenham fans were singing, 'He's Gareth Bale and he plays on the left'.

"Well, he's never played on the left since then. He played for Wales through the middle.

"Really him and Son are two players who you'd just want to let go and play and do damage wherever they pop up on the pitch in any of those forward positions.

"It's a bit like at Liverpool, like they do with their front three. They interchange positions fantastically well. And I think they'll do the same at Tottenham."

Gareth Bale "gave up fighting" for a place at Real Madrid, according to former Los Blancos striker and director of football Predrag Mijatovic.

Bale is the subject of much transfer speculation, with the Wales star – signed by Madrid for what was a world-record fee in 2013 – seemingly set to return to Tottenham.

On Wednesday, Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett confirmed to Stats Perform News that talks were ongoing between Spurs and Madrid. There has also been reported interest from Manchester United.

Mijatovic believes the 31-year-old, who made just 20 appearances last season having slipped far down the pecking order under Zinedine Zidane, stopped pushing for a place in the side.

However, he is unsure who is to blame for a breakdown in the relationship between Bale and Zidane.

"Madrid get rid of a problem with Bale. For him it is also important to play, and he will achieve it," Mijatovic said on Cadena SER.

"The relationship with Zidane was bad and he gave up fighting. I don't know who the culprit is. Bale can play football, but not at Real Madrid. 

"You have to know what goes through his head to know if he is guilty. Surely one day he will give an interview where he tells us how he has spent these seven years. 

"Madrid want to have a small squad with fewer disgruntled players. It is a logical strategy. It is an atypical year, but the club is going to fight for all the competitions."

During his time with Madrid, Bale has helped the side to two LaLiga titles, one Copa del Rey success and four Champions League triumphs – scoring vital goals in the 2013-14 and 2017-18 finals.

Gareth Bale is returning to Tottenham.

Linked with a move from Real Madrid after being frozen out, the Wales international was reportedly a target for Manchester United.

But it seems Bale is heading back to Spurs.

 

TOP STORY – BALE TO COMPLETE TOTTENHAM RETURN

Bale is completing a return to Tottenham from Madrid, according to The Daily Mail.

The report says Bale has agreed to a season-long loan deal worth more than £13million, part of which will be financed by Madrid.

It comes as ESPN reported Spurs head coach Jose Mourinho sanctioned the move despite being warned Bale would struggle to meet expectations in the Premier League.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Tottenham and Sergio Reguilon will complete a medical at the club on Thursday before sealing a move from Madrid, according to the Evening Standard. The left-back, who was also linked to United, is set to cost around £25m (€27.5m) and the deal will include a buy-back option for LaLiga's champions. Meanwhile, the Mirror reports Danny Rose is set to leave Tottenham and join Genoa.

- Arsenal could be set to make a move for Lyon star Houssem Aouar. Telefoot reports Arsenal are set to make a £36.4m (€40m) offer for Aouar, who is also apparently a target for Manchester City.

- Still linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, United are also apparently targeting other attackers. The Manchester Evening News reports the Red Devils are considering a move for Atalanta's 18-year-old attacker Amad Traore.

- Barcelona may be close to strengthening. The Daily Telegraph claims the Catalan giants are set to sign Ajax defender Sergino Dest, who was also linked to City and Bayern Munich.

- Could Inter make a move for United defender Chris Smalling? The centre-back seemed set to join Roma, where he was on loan last season, but no switch has materalised. Now, CalcioMercato reports Inter could step in and offer one of Ivan Perisic, Marcelo Brozovic or Joao Mario to the Premier League club.

- Leicester City are set to land Cengiz Under from Roma. Fabrizio Romano says a £2.7m (€3m) loan bid with a £21.8m (€24m) obligation to buy the 23-year-old attacker has been accepted.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder joked that Gareth Bale should stay at Real Madrid and enjoy the city's "great golf courses".

Bale is heavily linked with a return to Tottenham, the club he left to join Madrid in 2013.

The 31-year-old has won two LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues among numerous other honours with Madrid, but has been frozen out as he seemingly nears a return to Spurs.

But Wilder joked he wanted Bale to stay in Spain, as the attacker's return would only make life harder for his team.

"I said a couple of years ago when we first landed in the Premier League when Eden Hazard was going to Real Madrid that I'd give him a lift to the airport," he told reporters.

"Hopefully Gareth stays in Madrid, it's a lovely place Madrid and there are some great golf courses out there so don't make it any harder for us."

On their return to the Premier League last season, Sheffield United finished ninth in the table and just five points behind sixth-placed Tottenham.

Wilder, whose team face Burnley in the EFL Cup on Thursday, said he was unsurprised Bale wanted to return to England.

"I'm not surprised that he wants to come and play in the Premier League," he said.

"Our experience over the last year has been fabulous and we want more of that and I suppose there'd be a lot of Spurs fans wishing that to happen.

"But I don't think there'd be a lot of Sheffield United fans wishing that to happen because that just causes another problem when we have to play the likes of Tottenham and the other big hitters."

Gareth Bale would inject some much-needed "magic" into Tottenham's side should the Real Madrid forward return to north London, according to Harry Redknapp.

Tottenham are in negotiations with Madrid over a possible deal for Bale, who left Spurs for Los Blancos in a €100million (£85m) transfer in 2013.

Bale has helped Madrid win four Champions League trophies – scoring decisive goals in two of those finals – and two LaLiga titles, yet has fallen down the pecking order in the Spanish capital.

While he has struggled with injuries, Bale has often been left out in the cold even when fit by Zinedine Zidane, who played the Wales star just 20 times across all competitions last term.

Former Spurs manager Redknapp – who gave Bale the chance to thrive as a winger rather than as a full-back, where he initially played – believes the 31-year-old would be a brilliant addition for Tottenham or Manchester United, who have also been linked.

"It would be a fantastic signing for the club and it would be great for Gareth to get back playing again. He's such a talent, such a great player and it's waste to see him not playing," Redknapp told BBC Radio Wales.

"To get back to Tottenham could just turn their season around. They've been quite average in the last six months or so. End of last season and obviously got beat on Sunday by Everton. They need that little bit of magic Gareth can bring.

"If he went there [or] Manchester United... wherever he went, he'd make a massive difference."

On Wednesday, Jonathan Barnett – Bale's agent – told Stats Perform News: "We're negotiating at the moment, that's all. I won't discuss [how close it is]."

Meanwhile, Spurs boss Jose Mourinho insisted in a news conference ahead of Tottenham's clash with Lokomotiv Plovdiv that he would not discuss a player at another club.

Though Redknapp would love to see Bale return to Spurs, he concedes it will be a difficult deal to achieve.

"The difficulty obviously is working out a deal because no one can pay his wages. There's no way anyone in England can take him full-time," Redknapp said.

"The only way they'll do a deal is if Real Madrid meet at least half his wages. I'd think that's the stumbling block at the moment for Tottenham or anyone else interested in him.

"It's not going to be a case of Gareth taking any wage cuts, it's going to be a case of Real Madrid having to maybe take a third of his wages off of Tottenham.

"[Tottenham chairman] Daniel Levy's a very good negotiator, so I'm sure he'll get the best deal for Tottenham."

Eric Dier understands the buzz surrounding Gareth Bale's potential return to Tottenham but insists he is unaffected by any speculation.

Bale could be in line to return to Spurs seven years after leaving for Real Madrid, with Los Blancos reportedly keen to get the Wales star – who played just 20 times last season – off their books.

Jonathan Barnett, Bale's agent, confirmed to Stats Perform News on Wednesday that talks were ongoing over a deal, though would not say if an agreement was close.

However, Dier insisted he and the squad do not let transfer speculation impact their performances.

"I'm sure from the fans' point of view, when you're linked with a player of that level it's obviously exciting," Dier told a news conference ahead of Spurs' Europa League qualifier against Lokomotiv Plovdiv.

"For me personally, it doesn't really affect me in any way. It's not the first time and it won't be the last time.

"There's constantly speculation, lots of different talk. Every day people are trying to fill the newspapers and the websites, personally it doesn't really affect me in any way. I'm quite used to it."

Dier also added that there had not been any discussion about Bale between the squad members.

"No, nothing on the WhatsApp group. Obviously there's a lot of speculation and it's impossible not to see it but it's not for me to speculate," the England international, who does not believe Spurs' dressing room is in need of a lift despite a poor performance in their season-opening game against Everton, said.

"I don't know because he's still at Real Madrid, I really can't talk about a player from another team. It has really got nothing to do with me.

"The dressing room isn't in a bad place, we've had one game. Pre-season was in very difficult circumstances. The mood has been very positive within the group.

"I'm still really excited for the season, feel upbeat. We didn't start in the way we wanted to, but still feel we're in a very good place. It's all about taking every game as it comes and being fully focused on tomorrow. We need a good result."

Spurs have signed Matt Doherty and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg this transfer window and are also being linked with Bale's Madrid club-mate Sergio Reguilon, but Dier does not believe the squad is in desperate need of fresh faces.

"There is a lot of new blood in the dressing room. [Steven] Bergwijn, Gedson Fernandes – Pierre and Matt both just arrived," he said.

"I already feel it's a very different dressing room. I already feel there's a very different dynamic."

Jose Mourinho kept his cards close to his chest on the possibility of Gareth Bale rejoining Tottenham, as negotiations continue with Real Madrid.

Bale left Spurs to join Madrid in a €100million (£85m) move in 2013, after several outstanding seasons at White Hart Lane.

However, despite having gone on to win numerous honours – including four Champions Leagues and two LaLiga titles – the Welshman has seen his game time become increasingly limited under Zinedine Zidane.

Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett on Friday confirmed talks between Madrid and Spurs were ongoing, telling Stats Perform News: "We're negotiating at the moment, that's all. I won't discuss [how close it is]."

In his news conference ahead of Tottenham's Europa League clash with Lokomotiv Plovdiv on Thursday, Mourinho insisted he would not comment on the situation of a player at another club.

"Gareth Bale is a Real Madrid player, I don't comment on players from another club," said Mourinho.

"That's not my job to have contact with agents or honestly, I don't want to comment on that. Especially on players for other clubs.

"I don't comment on hypothetical stuff. Again, I repeat, I'm not going to comment on Gareth Bale. He's a Real Madrid player and I have to respect that."

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