Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has warned Gareth Bale he just can’t expect minutes due to his reputation at the club.
The Welshman returned from Real Madrid on a one-season loan, with Spurs paying a significant chunk of his huge salary, but they have yet to see this return justified on the pitch. Bale has managed just 12 appearances in all competitions and has only started once in the Premier League.
Rumors of a possible split between Mourinho and Bale recently surfaced when the boss was allegedly caught warning his player that he would be sent back to Spain if he did not improve.
Bale’s only 2021 minutes so far have come in the form of a 25-minute cameo against non-League Navy in the FA Cup third round, and Mourinho insisted he was not going not just handing over Bale’s minutes if he didn’t feel the Welshman deserved them.
“I can’t give players minutes, field minutes is not something I can give so I’m not going in that direction,” he said (via Sky Sports News). “We all know the difficulties he had for a few seasons, we all know he arrived injured, we all know that even this season (has been) a little up and down with little things.
“The most important thing for him is to be consistent, to train without any problems and when a player is consistent in training, at high intensity without any problems, the player is ready. Not having minutes, but is willing to save minutes, and that for me is a difference.
“This week he works every minute like everyone else with good intensity and let’s see how he reacts to the buildup of this kind of work and see how he reacts by the end of the week.”
Mourinho has revealed Bale could make his way to Monday’s FA Cup fourth round match with Wycombe Wanderers, but only if the 31-year-old’s performance in training justifies his inclusion in the squad.
It’s a tricky question for Spurs, who are currently paying Bale a huge amount of money without getting anything back from him on the pitch.
The situation is similar to midfielder Dele Alli, who has also had to settle for a few cup minutes this season. Paris Saint-Germain want to loan the Englishman, but Spurs are reluctant to sanction any deal that includes a buy option.
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