Jose Mourinho has discussed Gareth Bale’s future and admits Tottenham haven’t seen the ‘best of him’ during his loan spell with the club this season.
Bale returned to north London amid much fanfare during the summer after being deemed surplus to requirements at Real Madrid, rejoining Spurs on a season-long loan deal seven years after his world-record departure to the Bernabeu.
The Welsh international starred during his first spell with the club before winning a wealth of major honours in Spanish football, though the 31-year-old has failed to replicate those performances since returning and has started just once in the Premier League so far this season.
Mourinho has utilised the winger more often in cup competition and during the club’s Europa League campaign and has spoken of his desire to get the best from Bale over the second half of the season.
“The Europa League group stage is a different level to the Premier League, in the Premier League he didn’t play many minutes,” said Mourinho at a press conference ahead of his sides away clash against Sheffield United this weekend.
“Then another small injury at Stoke [in the Carabao Cup] where he was having a good first half. Now coming, not an easy process, everyone knew in the last couple of seasons at Madrid it was not easy for him. Let’s go step-by-step and try and get the best out of him.”
Mourinho also discussed the possibility of extending Bale’s stay beyond the end of the current campaign, though insisted no talks have been held regarding the player’s long-term future.
“There was not even a second of discussion about that,” Mourinho added. “He is a player on loan until the end of the season, not one second of discussion.
“We are speaking about Gareth, himself, Real Madrid, Tottenham. Not one second of discussion.”