Real Madrid have handed Gareth Bale's shirt number to Marco Asensio, as the Wales international closes in on a return to Tottenham.
The 31-year-old is on the verge of signing for Spurs, who have agreed a loan deal with the option to buy. As he prepares to return to north London, his parent club have already begun planning ahead to a future without the Welshman.
On the official La Liga website, it shows that Real Madrid have given Bale’s number 11 shirt to Marco Asensio ahead of the new season. With the Spaniard taking the newly vacated number, Bale has been assigned number 25, which he will wear if he ever returns to the Spanish capital.
Elsewhere, Vinícius Júnior has been given number 20, now that Bale has taken his previous number. However, none of these changes have been made yet on Real Madrid’s official website, with the trio still assigned their original numbers.
Bale has been spotted in London with Real Madrid teammate Sergio Reguilón, who is set to join Tottenham on a five-year deal. The pair were seen landing in London and arriving at Hotspur Way training ground earlier this week, with the deals to be announced imminently.
The move sees Bale return to Spurs after seven years, when he signed for Real Madrid for a then world record fee of £86m.
Bale saw his gametime reduced by injury and Zinedane, well, not liking him, last season. The winger made just 20 appearances all season, with a return of three goals and two assists his lowest ever for Los Blancos.
The Welshman will be Tottenham’s fourth key signing of the summer. José Mourinho has already signed Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, former England number one Joe Hart and Wolves full-back Matt Doherty.
Tottenham travel to the south coast to face Southampton on Sunday, as they look to earn their first win of the Premier League season. Spurs then have a London derby in the Carabao Cup third round, crossing over to east London to play Leyton Orient next Tuesday.