Welsh international forward Gareth Bale said on Tuesday that he intends to return to Real Madrid after finishing this season on loan with Tottenham.

The 31-year-old returned to his former club in September after becoming increasingly sidelined by Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane and a series of niggling injuries.

Although he needed time to recover his sharpness on returning to the Premier League, Bale has improved consistently since the turn of the year and has now scored 10 goals in 25 appearances in all competitions.

Speaking at a press conference while on international duty with Wales, Bale was asked about his future at the end of the season and insisted he intends to see out the final year of his contract at Real Madrid.

“My plan is to go back, that’s as far I have planned,” he replied, adding that his future was “no distraction for me.”

The forward explained that he had returned to Tottenham was in order to play competitive football ahead of this summer’s European Championships.

“I think the main reason I came to Spurs this year was to play football first and foremost. Going into the Euros, I wanted to be match-fit. The original plan was to do a season at Spurs and after the Euros still have a year left at Real Madrid,” he commented.

Whether or not Bale returns to Madrid remains to be seen, with the club currently being linked with interest in bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back from Juventus and trying to sign either Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint Germain or Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund.

The expense involved in those signings and the wages the players would command could persuade Madrid to cut their losses and try to sell Bale or even pay up the final year of his contract.

xinhua