Madrid (AFP) – Zinedine Zidane confirmed on Saturday that Gareth Bale is in London to secure a return to Tottenham but said the deal is “still not closed”.
Bale arrived at Spurs’ training ground on Friday and is expected to agree a one-year loan with the club he left for a world record 100 million euros in 2013.
“I haven’t spoken to him,” said Zidane in a press conference on Saturday morning, ahead of Real Madrid’s first La Liga game against Real Sociedad on Sunday.
“What he’s done here cannot be disputed. He has won many things here and he has shown his qualities. Now let’s see what will happen.”
“There are negotiations,” Zidane continued.
“He’s there in London. I’m not going to pit us against each other. I’ve not had any problems with Gareth, I know what he has done for this club.
“The situation is not firm, it’s not done, I can’t say more. We’ve not had any problems and what he’s done here, no-one can argue with. If he moves, I wish him the best.”
Zidane may have been keen to be cautious after he said last year it would be “best for everyone” if Bale left when a move to China seemed certain, only for the deal to collapse at the last minute.
Zidane added: “Gareth is our player at the moment and the issue is still to be closed.”
Bale has scored 105 goals and made 68 assists in 251 games for Real Madrid.
The 31-year-old has won four Champions League titles and two in La Liga, as well as scoring arguably the greatest ever goal in a Champions League final against Liverpool in 2018.
– ‘Spectacular’ –
“We know what the player has done in his seven years here,” said Zidane. “Now it’s about what the player wants to do as well and I can’t get into that.
“Are there things that happen in a team? I’m not going to say the opposite of what I’ve always said. The player has been spectacular.”
Madrid begin the defence of their La Liga title this weekend against Real Sociedad, after being given extra time off following their involvement in last season’s Champions League.
The club have made no signings this summer due to the financial fall-out from the coronavirus pandemic, while Eden Hazard is again struggling for fitness.
Asked if Hazard had now recovered from the ankle injury that plagued him last term, Zidane said: “I don’t know, I can’t tell you exactly.
“He is better and the most important thing is him, his feeling, that he is 100 per cent. We have time, we are starting the season. What he needs is to be 100 or 120 per cent.”
Zidane also confirmed full-back Sergio Reguilon, who spent a successful season on loan at Sevilla last year, is set to join Tottenham.
“I congratulate Reguilon for the season he had,” said Zidane. “We have two players in each position, nothing more. I have two full-backs already and I can’t have three, or four, or five, because then it’s a mess.
“We wish him the best because he had a good season with Sevilla and he deserves to be there playing with Tottenham.”
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