Gareth Bale could still be a Tottenham player next season.
Having initially struggled to regain the form that fans remember him as after his hero returned to North London last summer, he has apparently returned to his best.
Since Jose Mourinho’s sacking as manager, Bale has scored four goals in two Premier League starts under interim head coach Ryan Mason, which included a hat-trick in Sunday’s 4-0 win. on Sheffield United.
And despite his limited playing time this season, Bale has scored 14 goals in 30 games in all competitions.
This is Bale’s second stint at Spurs since leaving for Real Madrid in 2013, but it is believed that this one-season loan could be extended.
So will the 31-year-old be a Tottenham player next season?
Bale’s £ 600,000-a-week contract at Real Madrid – of which Spurs pay around half – expires in a year and it would be very surprising to see him play under Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu next season.
According to the Daily Mail, Spurs have the first refusal to accept another loan change this summer.
Asked about Bale’s future after Sheffield United’s beating, Mason replied: “I think it’s a conversation at the end of the season between Gareth, the club and his parent club.
“Our main goal and our priority should be the next game.
“It sounds like a cliché but it’s true. I’m glad he’s happy, he should be because he has another match ball to add to the collection. It was also a great performance.
“I think the decision for now and the priority is that Gareth is ready to train and he’s happy in training.
“We have another big week of training because we have a huge game next weekend and hopefully we can have a happy Gareth next weekend.”
Bale, however, has previously said he will return to the Bernabeu when his loan deal ends after joining the club to be ready to lead Wales at Euro 2020.
But a lot has changed since those comments in March, with Tottenham still having to name a permanent successor to Mourinho.
And any decision would require Bale to agree to stay as well as the green light from the new boss as well.
His 14 goals put him third among the club’s best players for the season.