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Mourinho sends stark message to Bale over lack of Tottenham playing time

Jose Mourinho says he can’t “give” Gareth Bale minutes on the pitch as the Welshman’s lack of playing time at Tottenham this season has again come into focus.

Bale has played 12 times for Spurs since he returned from Real Madrid on a loan deal in the summer transfer window, but only four of those appearances came in the Premier League, where he hasn’t featured for over a month.

He came off the bench for a cameo appearance in the closing stages of the FA Cup third round tie at non-league Marine earlier this month, and is set to be involved when Spurs go to Wycombe Wanderers in the fourth round on Monday.

There have been suggestions that Spurs will not look to turn to loan deal into a permanent move at the end of the season, when Bale will still have one year left on his contract at Real Madrid.

Until then though, Mourinho says he won’t just dole out minutes to Bale if he doesn’t deserve them.

Bale has been used sparingly by Mourinho this season

“I cannot give players minutes – minutes on the pitch is not something I can give,” Mourinho said.

“We all know the difficulties that he had for a couple of seasons.

“We all know that he arrived injured, we all know that even this season [he is] a little bit up and down with small things.

“The most important thing for him is to be consistent in training, at high intensity without any problems, and when a player is consistent in training then the player is ready, not to be given minutes but to earn minutes.

“That’s a different thing.”

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