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Jose Mourinho is convinced Gareth Bale can re-establish himself among the elite once he makes an emotional return to Tottenham Hotspur from La Liga champions Real Madrid, according to ESPN.

Never before has that Steve Carrell gif been so appropriate.

Because, after years of endless speculation, it seems arguably the best player in Tottenham’s modern history is packing his bags and planning a return to north London.

As Michael Scott said: “Oh my god. Ok, it’s happening.”

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Following two years warming the bench at the Bernabau, the four-time Champions League winner looks set to swap one iconic white shirt for another.

ESPN claims Real will let Bale leave on loan or for a permanent fee of £18 million and the 31-year-old appears to be listening to his heart rather than his head – returning to a declining Tottenham despite the opportunity to join an exciting and rapidly improving Manchester United side.

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Of course, the cynics will doubt whether a 30-something Bale can rediscover the electrifying form that once made him the most expensive footballer in the history of the game, especially with a series of niggling injuries taking their toll.

It’s impossible not to cast your mind back to John Terry’s less-than-complimentary account with the Coach’s Voice when discussing the prospect of an injury-prone player joining forces with Mourinho.

But ESPN believes Mourinho is willing to overlook Bale’s treatment table past, convinced as he is that the Welsh wing wizard can overcome all those problems and revive his stalling career amid familiar surroundings.   

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Tottenham Hotspur’s summer signings

  1. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

    £15 million; Southampton

  2. Joe Hart

    Free

  3. Matt Doherty

    £13 million; Wolves

In other news, 19-year-old Liverpool player named one of Europe's greatest prospects; shortlisted for award