Real Madrid could be left with a huge administrative issue if Gareth Bale returns to the Bernabeu at the end of the campaign.
The 31-year-old winger rejoined Spurs on a season-long loan during the summer after essentially being frozen out by Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.
However, he has failed to spark in North London, and has scored just once in six Premier League appearances under Jose Mourinho.
Most recently he was substituted after 60 minutes in Spurs’ dire 1-0 defeat to Brighton, in which he again failed to show anything near his previous levels.
Unless his performances improve dramatically in the latter stages of the season it seems highly unlikely that Spurs will decide to make the deal permanent.
And that could cause a huge headache for Madrid due to the fact he would return as a non-EU player.
As reported by Marca, Bale would now have to be registered as such due to the fact the UK completed the process of leaving the European Union during his time away from the club.
Only three non-EU players are permitted to be registered in Madrid’s 25-man squad, and Bale would be competing with Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo Goes, Eder Militao, Reinier Jesus and Takefusa Kubo.
The Welshman still has a year to run on his lucrative £350,000-a-week contract at Madrid, and he has regularly insisted he is happy to run it down in Spain even if he is not appearing regularly on the pitch.
Madrid would no doubt be desperate to sell him, or even let him go for free, but given how underwhelming he has been this season, it is not clear which, if any, teams would decide he is worth the gamble.
Bale and Spurs will be desperately hoping he can turn his torrid spell around in the near future, and he will most probably be given the opportunity to do so in the London derby against Chelsea on Thursday.