Tottenham supporters would “take Gareth Bale back with arms wide open”, says Oscar Jansson, but the Wales international is not expected to walk away from a contract at Real Madrid that is due to run until 2022.
Transfer speculation continues to rage around a 30-year-old superstar who finds himself frozen out at Santiago Bernabeu once again.
Past windows have seen moves to America, China and England mooted, with the general consensus being that Bale needs a change of scenery in order to rekindle the spark that his game has lost.
Jansson, who worked alongside Bale during a five-year stint at Spurs between 2007 and 2012, admits as much, with the Swede not convinced that talk of possible return to north London will come to anything for a player that he always expected to reach the very top of the game.
“Bale was an easier one than seeing Harry [Kane] being a big star,” Jansson told Tribal Football.
“He always had that aura around him that he was an unbelievable talent - just a star - and it was just a question of when he was going to explode.
“Gareth trained extra and always believed in himself, and once he got his chance at left-back because of an injury you couldn't keep him out of the team.
“I know that he was close to leaving Spurs before that even happened, that's just the daily life of being a footballer - you need to get the chance, and when you get it you need to take it. He was always good.
“I think Tottenham fans would take Bale back with arms wide open. It's just about what he wants to do. I don't think he'll leave Real Madrid before his contract is up.”
While the rumours of a move into Tottenham continue to swirl around Bale, Kane is among those generating talk of a push through the exits.
The England international striker has made no secret of the fact that his ambition to land major silverware could force him to explore options elsewhere.
Jansson can appreciate why a prolific presence is attracting interest from across Europe, but admits that Kane – who he graced the same academy system as at one stage – was not an obvious pick as a youngster to become the global icon he now is.
“[Kane] wasn't the fastest or the strongest,” added Jansson.
“If I was to pick someone to be a star from that group, he wouldn't be in the top five, six, or seven. We had an unbelievable age group, and Harry was good, just not as good as some of the others.
“But then he always had that ability to motivate himself to train extra, to do extra fitness.
“He's always been a great striker of the ball, a good finisher, it's just that at the time he wasn't as good as others in the age group.”