GARETH BALE says he meant no disrespect to Tottenham as he moved to clarify his comments regarding returning to Real Madrid.
The Welsh star ,31, is on international duty and caused a stir before last week’s World Cup qualifying defeat to Belgium.
The forward, who has endured mixed fortunes back on loan at Tottenham this season, was asked whether speculation over his future could distract him and his country at the upcoming Euros.
Bale replied: “There’s no distraction for me. 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. My plan is to go back, that’s as far I have planned.”
Spurs supporters were unhappy at those remarks that appeared to indicate he was using the club as a fitness tool to get himself firing on all-cylinders for his nation ahead of the summer showpiece.
But Bale has moved to clarify those comments today when he was asked whether he needed to play regularly next season in order to play in the 2022 World Cup.
He said: “I think for me, first and foremost I still have this season, and I still have plenty of games to go for the Euros.
“Obviously, going into next season, legally my contract says I have to go back to Real Madrid, which is what I stated, which I don’t think is being disrespectful to anybody. That’s legally what I have to do.
“Real Madrid are I guess my parent club and as far as I agreed I was on Tottenham on loan until the end of the season and I go back. That’s the plan so far.
“The reason I left was because I wanted to play games and get match fit and enjoy my football.
“Obviously come the summer I will go back to Real Madrid and we’ll go from there.
“I think the plan is to go back and then whether then I sit down with my agent is something we’ll do in the summer.”
Bale added: “Of course I want to be playing, but other things might get in the way. Obviously in football it’s not just about what you want. It’s the other side.
“So I’m just concentrating on this season. I have a big game tomorrow and a big end to the season with Tottenham and obviously the Euros in the summer.
“So for me in the summer at the moment I don’t need to worry about anything else apart from this season and regarding next season, after the Euros and my summer holiday, we’ll sit down and we’ll go through something then and hopefully we’ll come up with a solution.”
Bale has made 25 appearances during his second spell with Spurs, scoring ten goals.
But his season has been inconsistent and, after a recent upturn in form, club boss Jose Mourinho accused the Welshman among others of hiding in the 2-1 North London derby defeat to Arsenal on March 14.
Then Bale was part of the Tottenham side who suffered a humiliating Europa League last-16 extra-time exit to Dinamo Zagreb.
Bale was then left on the bench by Mourinho for the win at Aston Villa.
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