Gareth Bale has arrived at Tottenham Hotspur's training ground to complete a sensational return to the club.
The Welshman's exit from the Spanish capital club has been one of the protracted transfer sagas of the summer, but it appears to now be hurtling towards a conclusion.
The 31-year-old was captured on camera arriving at the private terminal of Madrid airport with his family on Friday morning, and is now on the brink of being unveiled as a Spurs player - seven years after leaving the club for a then record fee.
Bale, who completed his medical in Madrid, is set to earn £13m in wages for his year-long loan. Spurs are reported to be paying 40% of the Welshman's wages, while Real teammate Sergio Reguilon will join permanently on a deal worth around £28million.
The winger arrived in London earlier this afternoon, and has since arrived at the club's Enfield training base to put pen to paper and officially become a Tottenham player once again, receiving a warm reception from Spurs fans, who gathered on Hotspur Way to greet the Welshman.
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Moyes recalls Bale pursuit
Gareth Bale is closing in on a return to Tottenham Hotspur - but it could have all been very different.
Bale is heading back to Spurs on loan from Real Madrid - seven years after his then-world record £85million move to the Bernabeu.
Manchester United were keen to land the Wales superstar and now David Moyes - their manager at the time - has revealed just how close they came.
READ MORE HERE
Bale injury claim
Gareth Bale could be sidelined by injury for at least a month, it has been reported.
Bale is closing in on a loan return to Tottenham Hotspur seven years after leaving to join Real Madrid.
READ MORE HERE
Lampard on Bale
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says Gareth Bale will be a "big addition" to the Spurs squad.
"Gareth Bale is an incredible player, he is an incredible individual talent that we remember very well from his Premier League days at Tottenham," said Lampard.
"We have seen from afar the incredible success that he has had at Real Madrid and if he does come to Tottenham which I keep seeing will virtually happen soon then he is going to be a big addition to their squad, of course.
"Of course, they have got very good individuals at Tottenham. They will beat teams and be expected to challenge in and around the Champions League places and above.
"They have fantastic individuals and if they get Gareth Bale, they will have another one for sure. He is one of the best players in the world, in my opinion, over the last four or five seasons."
'I'm absolutely buzzing'
Former Spurs captain Michael Dawson is "buzzing" about Gareth Bale's return to the club.
“I’m absolutely buzzing,” Dawson told talkSPORT.
“I’m buzzing for Spurs and also as a fan of the Premier League, for Gareth to come back, the lift it will give those Spurs fans and everyone at the football club.
“When he was linked with a move to China, I was absolutely devastated, I always wanted to see him back in the Premier League, thankfully now it looks like it’s going to happen and what a signing it is for Spurs.
“The lift it will give them will be incredible."
Arteta on Bale
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has had his say on Gareth Bale's imminent return to the Gunners' arch rivals Tottenham.
“The Premier League in its history has always had the best players in the world," said Arteta.
“I think Gareth has been one of the most significant names that left the Premier League years ago to go to Spain, so I think it's really positive to bring really important players back to the league and it will be a challenge because we know at his best what he can do.
"I think the competition from every club, the way they are all recruiting and improving their squad, is making this league harder and harder."
Calderon - Comparisons to Ronaldo were Bale's downfall
Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has been speaking to Sky Sports News on Bale’s departure, and believes the comparisons with team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo was the key issue for the Welshman in the Spanish capital.
“For the player it was the only solution. I think it’s the best one. He wasn’t playing here. The fact is the coach didn’t count on him. I’m sure that Tottenham is going to have a good player again. He hasn’t forgotten how to play. He came here as the MVP of the Premier league. Mourinho is keen on the player. He likes playing counter-attacking football and he can be a perfect player for that tactic.
“He has great speed as everyone knows and it’s been a pity that he couldn’t be successful here, but the main problem I think was the comparison, inevitable, with Cristiano Ronaldo. We paid more for Gareth Bale than for Cristiano.
“The comparison was inevitable. He had many injuries and was unlucky.
”But despite that, he had some very, very good performances, and we all remember the overhead kick goal in Ukraine to win the Champions League.
“So, I wish him all the best. It’s what we do at Real Madrid when any player leaves.
“For sure it’s Tottenham [who are the winners] here. But it’s clear that after not playing, Real Madrid is alleviating the current account expenses because it was a lot of money being paid to the player.
“The winner is also the player. The player’s going to recover his life as a football player again”
Spurs. Wales. Golf?
Not sure on this one...
‘Spurs, Wales, golf’ is the song from #thfc supporters at the training ground— Paul Gilmour (@skysportspaulg) September 18, 2020
Pochettino - Bale deal wasn't possible
Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says making a move for Gareth Bale was “never a possibility” during his five-and-a-half years with Spurs.
“[He is] at an age where he still has strength, [plus] experience and maturity. He has been seven or eight years at Real Madrid: he has been decisive, he has won four European Cups, he has scored in important matches. The times we have met, he has always been very affectionate with me.
“There was never the possibility [to sign him at Spurs], first of all because everything was focused on finishing the stadium. When we got to the Champions League final, we hadn’t signed a player for a year and a half. After that, I left. There was never the possibility, but it’s clear that a player like Bale would have brought a lot to the team.
“Jesus Perez said to me: ‘Imagine if Bale signs for Tottenham. We went to Southampton, Bale had left. We signed for Tottenham, Bale had left. Now look, he’s coming back to Tottenham.”
Mauricio Pochettino speaking to COPE
This from David Lammy
Clearly the Labour MP for Tottenham has a friend at the club with an excellent sense of humour...
Just texted a @SpursOfficial director to check on #GarethBale status on behalf of my constituents. This was their reply pic.twitter.com/PBIbXFuDtA— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) September 18, 2020
The big moment
You just love to see it.
Bale, back at a club where he’s loved and adored.
Gareth Bale & Sergio Reguilon arriving at the Tottenham Hotspur training ground! pic.twitter.com/NularumGp1— Football Daily (@footballdaily) September 18, 2020
Gareth Bale has been pictured arriving at Tottenham Hotspur’s training ground as he prepares to confirm a sensational return to the club.
Bale is set to put pen to paper on a season-long loan deal at the club he left seven years ago, in a move which has been greeted with jubilation from fans.
The 31-year old landed at Luton Airport on Friday, and was greeted by supporters as he arrived at the club’s training ground alongside Real team-mate Sergio Reguilon, who is also set to sign on with the club as part of a £27m move.
Bale is unlikely to be available for selection for at least a month due to an ongoing knee issue and a lack of match fitness, but his arrival has nevertheless captured the imagination of fans, many of whom were pictured giving the player a warm reception as he drove into the club’s Enfield base.
No, Bale and Levy aren't off to play golf this afternoon
Tottenham Hotspur fans have flooded the phonelines of a Hertfordshire golf club, after images emerged on Twitter seemingly suggesting Gareth Bale was booked in to play a round of golf.
Bale’s love of golf is perhaps the worst-kept secret in world football.
The Welshman spent plenty of time out on the golf course during his time at Real Madrid, giving rise to the iconic ‘Wales. Golf. Madrid - in that order’ slogan that has been adopted by members of the Red Wall.
Bale landed in London on Friday as he looks to complete his return to Spurs seven years after leaving, and fans were sent into meltdown when a picture of a booking form for the course appeared on social media, with Bale, Daniel Levy and chief scout Steve Hitchen all apparently booked in for 18 holes.
The player’s love of golf, and the fact Hadley Wood is close to Tottenham’s Enfield training complex, caused many to jump to conclusions.
The scenes outside the Spurs training ground
Tottenham fans have already gathered outside the club’s training ground.
Think this one will go down well with them...
Parlour's Bale claim
Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has backed Gareth Bale to be a better signing for Tottenham than Thiago Alcantara will be for Liverpool - providing the Welshman can stay fit.
“I think Bale can bring more to the team for Tottenham,” Parlour said on Friday’s talkSPORT Breakfast.
“I think Liverpool are an excellent team anyway and that strengthens the midfield; they’ve got Henderson, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain.
“They’ve got so many good players in there, but Thiago is an excellent signing.
“But I think if you can get the best out of Bale and get him fit, I think Bale will be a better signing.”
Ray Parlour speaking to TalkSport
Bale has landed
The Evening Standard report that Gareth Bale has landed at Luton Airport.
Sheringham gives Bale the thumbs up
Teddy Sheringham has given his verdict on Bale's impending return to Tottenham.
“Bale will do things in training which Kane will then say ‘I can’t wait to play on a Saturday with him’," he told Football London.
“This is what football is all about at the top level. It’s not all about money, you want to be playing with top players and exciting people who are watching you play football. Simple as that.
"He [Bale] is a player of immense talent, unbelievable talent. If you get the chance to sign him then you have got to."
This is the scene outside Tottenham's training ground this morning.
Spurs have a brutal schedule coming up.
And it's worth bearing in mind that Wales have three away fixtures against England, Republic of Ireland and Bulgaria next month!
Tottenham fixtures: Southampton - Sept 20; Leyton Orient - Sept 22; Shkendija - Sept 24; Newcastle - Sept 27; Manchester United - Oct 3.
Gareth Bale is set to sign a season-long loan deal with Spurs.
And our sister title Football London report that Jose Mourinho's men will have the option to keep the Welshman for longer once this season is done and dusted.
They report that "Tottenham will be paying roughly 40 per cent of the player's wages with Real picking up the remaining 60 per cent".
Bale is in the air
Gareth Bale is making his way to London to complete his move from Real Madrid to Tottenham.
He is currently flying to the English capital and is expected to land at around lunchtime.
Bale's medical and Covid-19 tests
Gareth Bale completed his medical in Madrid yesterday. And he also had to undergo Covid-19 testing before travelling to London.
As an elite sportsman, the Wales star is exempt from the isolation rules of normal travellers.
Levy 'stuck his neck out', Bale's agent claims
Gareth Bale's agent believes Daniel Levy "stuck his neck out" to bring the Welshman back to Tottenham.
Levy, renowned for being a shrewd operator in the transfer market, has sanctioned this move, managing to get him at a cut price, granted that will still be a hefty weekly outlay.
But Jonathan Barnett, Bale's agent, says Levy has to be given credit for showing the "guts" to thrash out such a deal.
When Tottenham came calling it was where he wanted to be.
It is good for Gareth and obviously I hope it's good for Tottenham. My main concern is Gareth and hopefully he will get some happiness back in his life.
He [Levy] has stuck his neck out. He's done bloody well. You have got to give him credit and admire his guts. He has put his money where his mouth is.
Gareth is the most successful footballer ever to leave these shores and maybe even the most successful British footballer ever. You are talking about someone who has achieved everything.
Jonathan Barnett to The Telegraph
'He is exactly what Spurs need' - Anderton
Tottenham legend Darren Anderton has hailed Gareth Bale's return to north London as 'exactly what Spurs need'.
Here is what he has had to say.
To come back to somewhere where you are loved really does make sense.
It has to be great for all parties and after watching the game on Sunday [against Everton], oh boy do Spurs need it, someone who can go and win a game with a bit of magic and creativity and flair.
He has a great mentality, he carried the Wales team, he carried the Tottenham team when he was here, winning games on his own. He is exactly what Spurs need. This is one that everyone is very excited about.
He has still got that speed and once he gets going you can't catch him. He scores goals, makes goals, he does it all.
Darren Anderton to talkSPORT.
Mauricio Pochettino has his say
Here is what the former Spurs manager has said about Bale's imminent arrival...
I think Gareth Bale is a magnificent footballer.
He has won four Champions Leagues, there is no doubt he is a great player.
Mauricio Pochettino via COPE
Daniel Levy pulling up to Tottenham's training ground
Here is the Spurs owner driving into the club's HQ this morning.
Bale a 'better signing' than Thiago at Liverpool
That's according to talkSPORT's Ray Parlour.
Bale arriving at Madrid airport
"It's the shot everyone expected to see. Gareth Bale has arrived at the private terminal at Madrid airport, sunglasses on, family alongside him," Ben Ransom said on SSN.
"He's gone through and is preparing to board a jet to London."
Bale arrives at airport
According to Sky Sports News, Gareth Bale has arrived at Madrid airport.
He's set to fly on a private jet to complete his loan move to Spurs.
Real Madrid chief furious with Zidane over Bale saga
Real Madrid chief Florentino Perez is reportedly 'disappointed' with the manner in which Zinedine Zidane handled the Gareth Bale transfer saga.
Perez is a known admirer of the Welshman and, according to AS, he wanted to see more from Zidane in terms of coaxing the very best out of the winger, instead allowing him to freeze on the sidelines.
AS claim Zidane could have handled the whole situation far better and the apparent disdain he held for Spurs-bound Sergio Reguilon, too, has not gone down well.
This will only serve to increase tension between Perez and Zidane, the Spanish outlet says, but if the Frenchman continues to win trophies, the chief's hands are tied.
Levy all set
Tottenham's players are not currently at the training ground following their Europa League commitments last night.
But Sky Sports cameras have captured Daniel Levy arriving at their training base this morning.
He's been there since around 8am in anticipation of greeting Bale later today.