Tottenham confirm signing of Gareth Bale on a season-long loan

Credit: AP

Tottenham have completed the signing of footballer Gareth Bale on a season-long loan.

The 31-year-old returns to Spurs from Real Madrid seven years after he moved in the opposite direction in a then world-record transfer.

Spurs have moved quickly over the past couple of days to tie the deal up, and he is seen as a marquee addition to Jose Mourinho’s squad, with the Wales international flying into London on Friday morning.

A statement on the club's website said they anticipate that Bale, who will wear the number nine shirt, "will be match fit after October’s international break" having sustained a knee injury while on duty for Wales earlier this month.

It is an emotional return to Spurs for Bale, who made 203 appearances for them between 2007 and 2013.

In a video posted by Spurs on Twitter, the player said: "I just want to say thank you to everyone for welcoming me back."

He continued: "It's great to be back here at the club where I made my name, and started, and made great memories - and looking forward now to creating new ones and hopefully creating history at this club again".

He developed into a world-class player at the club and was sold to Real Madrid for a then world-record £85million.

"I think by going to Madrid, winning trophies and going far with the national team I feel like I have that kind of winning mentality, how to win trophies," Bale said.

"Hopefully I can bring that to the dressing room, bring a bit more belief to everybody that we can win a trophy, and the target is to do that this season, to be fighting on every front possible.

"I want to bring that mentality here, back to Tottenham."

The Welshman won everything there was to win in Spain.

Bale swapped the north London club for the Spanish capital in 2013. Credit: PA

Including four Champions League titles, and he became one of the top three players in the world behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

As well as his successes with Real, in his time away from Spurs Bale helped Wales reach the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

But things turned sour for him in the final couple of years at the Bernabeu as he fell out of favour under Zinedine Zidane.

Bale faced heavy criticism over his perceived preference to play golf rather than perform on the pitch.

After the news of the deal broke, Bale shared a tweet from 2013 when he thanked Spurs fans for their "support" as he prepared to leave the club.

The footballer shared the tweet with the comment: "To all the Spurs fans, after 7 years, I’m back!"

His return to Spurs means that Mourinho finally gets his hands on a player he has tried to sign twice in the past - first when he was at Real Madrid and then again at Manchester United.

Left-back Sergio Reguilon has also made the move from Madrid to north London, sealing a permanent transfer.

The Spaniard, who spent last season on loan at Europa League winners Sevilla, has signed a five-year contract at Spurs. Madrid have inserted a buy-back clause into the deal.