Mourinho reveals he wanted Bale at Real Madrid before he left as he finally looks to get his man at Tottenham
The 31-year-old's agent says a deal with the north London side is close to completion and the manager admits he has long been an admirer
Jose Mourinho says he tried to sign Gareth Bale for Real Madrid before the Welsh star made the switch from Tottenham, but the coach refused to confirm reports he wants to bring him back to the Premier League.
Bale joined Madrid in 2013, the same summer Mourinho departed the Santiago Bernabeu after a three-year spell in charge.
The 31-year-old started just 12 games in La Liga last season and is looking to for a move after spending seven seasons in the Spanish capital.
The winger's agent has said the 31-year-old wants to return to the north London side and a deal is currently being negotiated, while Manchester United have also been linked.
"“I don’t comment on hypothetical stuff. Gareth Bale is a Real Madrid player," Mourinho said when asked if about the club's interest in Bale at a press conference on Wednesday.
"It's not my job to have contact with agents, I don't want to comment on that, especially on players at other clubs.
"I tried to sign him for Real Madrid which was not possible during my time there. But the president followed my instinct and followed my knowledge and the season I left he brought Gareth to the club. That's no secret and Gareth knows that."
Bale would be the third new arrival at Tottenham this summer, with the club having signed Matt Doherty from Wolves, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Southampton and Joe Hart after his departure from Burnley.
Mourinho says the new boys are still trying to adapt to the team and hopes to strengthen further before the transfer window ends.
"A squad is a puzzle and when a new signing completes the puzzle it's great for the team," the 57-year-old added.
"Three more weeks, the market is open both ways. I think in football you have to be always waiting for something to happen. Let's see what happens to us. I never liked to start the competition with an open transfer window."